If you think Adam Lyth is in the closing stages of his stellar career, think again. This Yorkshire legend has no plans to retire and has some pretty big aims for the next few years. 

Opening batter Lyth, 36, has been speaking ahead of the new season – the penultimate of an existing contract at Headingley.

He is confident of promotion in the Vitality County Championship, though by no means certain despite the county being overwhelming favourites for the title.

“We’re in Division Two, and our aim is to get out of it,” he said. “Looking at the first six or seven games, we have Rooty and Brooky available, and that eleven is looking very, very strong. But it still won’t be easy.

“We will have to play good cricket for a long period of time.

“It’s not a given that because we’ve got those two in the team, we will win every week. 

“We’ve got to play well and earn the right to get into positions to drive the game forwards. Hopefully then we can then finish games off.”

Adam Lyth

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Adam Lyth celebrates a century against Durham at his home ground, Scarborough, last August. 

If all goes to plan, the two-time Championship winner in 2014 and 2015 would then love to add to that silverware collection, and not just in red ball cricket.

“Absolutely,” he continued. “Our aim is to get out of Division One and mix it with the big boys.

“I want us to win as many trophies as we can.

“I’d love to win a white ball trophy. 

“We’ve not had one since 2002, and I’d love to tick that off. 

“But if it’s not in white ball, make it the second division and even another Championship title. Those days were unbelievable.”

Bean and Lyth

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Adam Lyth and opening partner Fin Bean. 

Lyth is certainly closer to the end of his career than he is to its start. But, rather than coming up to the final hurdle, he is more coming around the final few bends ready to race down the last few furlongs.

“I’ll play for as long as I can,” he said. 

“For as long as I’m producing the goods out on the field and the club wants me, I want to be here.

“I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve done at this great club, but I’ve got no intention to finish – not a chance. I’ve still got goals in my own career. I’m still doing well in the Blast and the Hundred. Long may it continue. 

“I’m about 1,400 short of 15,000 first-class runs. I’d like to tick that off and get as many as I can.

“I’d also like to get into the forties (in terms of first-class hundreds, currently 32) if I can as well.

Adam Lyth

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Adam Lyth models Yorkshire’s new Vitality County Championship shirt. 

“I’m nowhere near finished here yet. Hopefully there’s at least another three or four, maybe five, seasons to go.”

Lyth knows exactly what it takes to win a Championship title and was asked if there are any comparisons which can be drawn between Yorkshire’s current side and the great team of 2014 and 2015.

“It’s got the potential for sure, but it hasn’t got the experience we had,” he said. 

“But I think everyone has improved in the winter, everyone’s fit and strong. Touch wood, all of our seamers are fit and raring to go. It’s a very exciting summer ahead for us.”

Lyth believes Yorkshire didn’t play the quality of cricket required to win promotion last season: “We didn’t play well enough in my opinion,” he reflected.

“This year, we’ll start again with a healthy fit squad. 

Adam Lyth

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. Adam Lyth celebrates a Test century for England against New Zealand at Headingley in 2015. 

“Hopefully myself, Beany, Shan and Brooky and Root can put runs on the board. If we do, I’ve got no doubts we’ve got the capability to take 20 wickets.”

Lyth was Yorkshire’s top-scorer in the Championship last season with 1,019 – one of only eight batters across Division Two to have topped the 1,000-mark.

“I’d like to do that again this year, score some big hundreds and win some games for Yorkshire,” he went on. “That’s all I want to do.

“I’m feeling really good, and I’m really pleased with how my pre-season has gone. Abu Dhabi was a fantastic 11 days out there. I played well on tour and struck the ball well.”

Lyth’s main job is racking up the runs for Yorkshire, as he has done across all formats.

He is in the top 30 first-class run-scorers in the club’s history with 12,894, and he is Yorkshire’s leading all-time T20 run-scorer with 3,921 – almost 1,700 clear of his nearest competitor for that label, the retired Andrew Gale.

Adam Lyth

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. Adam Lyth has married red ball and white ball success. 

But another important task is helping mentor youngsters such as his opening partner, Fin Bean.

“I’ve really enjoyed helping the young lads and giving little snippets of guidance here and there,” he said. 

“I’m an open book. If anyone wants to chat to me, pick the phone up at any time, I’m very open. I’m willing to help.

“I had that as a young professional starting, obviously, with Vaughan, McGrath and Rudolph. They helped me immensely get to where I’ve got to, and I just want to give that back to new lads in the changing room.”

There is a potential that such guidance could set Lyth up for a post playing career in coaching: “Potentially,” he admitted. “I’ve not done any of my coaching badges, but I’d like to experiment.”

For now, though, runs, wins and trophies are at the forefront of his mind on the eve of the 2024 summer – his 19th as a professional.

The fire inside him still burns as bright as bright as ever.

“I can’t wait for it to start now,” he added, ahead of Friday’s opener against Leicestershire at Headingley.

Adam Lyth

Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com. Adam Lyth won three personal awards at the end of Yorkshire’s Championship title-winning campaign in 2014 – Players’ Player of the Year, Members’ Player of the Year and Fielder of the Year.

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