It would be an exaggeration to say that Joe Root is looking forward to the prospect of facing his brother Billy when Yorkshire take on Glamorgan at Headingley this weekend. But he is determined to get the job done for his team, nevertheless.

Yorkshire’s fourth game in this season’s Vitality County Championship Division Two begins on Friday (11am) when the Welshmen visit God’s Own County.

It will be Harry Brook’s last appearance before joining up with England, who will soon begin preparations for next month’s T20 World Cup in the Caribbean and the USA. 

It could be his last appearance of the county summer given the busy international schedule ahead.

But Yorkshire, who have drawn three and lost one so far, will have his England team-mate Root available for some time yet.

Root plays two more Championship matches out of the next three – Glamorgan at home and Northamptonshire away – and is then slated to play in the first half of the Vitality Blast T20, which starts at the back end of this month.

Joe Root and Billy Root

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Joe Root congratulates younger brother Billy after scoring a century for Glamorgan against Yorkshire at Headingley in early 2021.

This weekend at Headingley, it will very much be a case of Root Squared should batter Billy turn out for Glamorgan, as he has done in each of the first three rounds of the season so far.

Root v Root is nothing new, of course. The brothers – Joe, 33 and Billy, 31 – have played against each other three times. 

The first was an early-season One-Day Cup match between Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge in 2017, which Yorkshire won. The other two were both drawn Championship matches against Glamorgan in 2021. 

Billy scored a second-innings century in the Headingley draw, with the left-hander reaching his hundred with runs off Joe’s bowling. 

“He’s told me about that a few times since,” smiled Joe, as he looked ahead to the latest meeting between the cricket-mad siblings from Sheffield, who both came through the Yorkshire system before going their separate ways. 

“It’s a horrible situation, actually.

Joe Root

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Joe Root celebrates his century for Yorkshire against Derbyshire last weekend.

“I’ve followed his career pretty closely. We’re close as brothers, and I’m desperate for him to do well and to keep doing special things for Glamorgan when he gets his opportunities.

“Then you suddenly find yourself at first slip and involved in a competitive game, and it is quite strange. It’s like being in the garden again. 

“But once you get out there, you know you’ve got a job to do and you know what your responsibilities are as a professional. You just get stuck into it.

“I’m sure he might have a slightly different approach to things because he’s a competitive guy.”

Joe went on: “We want to help each other out. 

“That’s been a big part of me getting to where I am – the battles we’ve had over the years and the way we’ve always pushed each other and helped each other improve as players.

Harry Brook

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Harry Brook will this weekend make the last of five early-season Championship appearances.

“I’m just really looking forward to seeing him, to be honest.

“I haven’t seen him for a while. To get to spend some time with him will be great.

“Of course, when we get out on the field, we’ll get our stuff done. 

“I’m sure there will be a few cheeky words exchanged!”

While Joe has posted significant scores of 51 and 119 in three Championship matches this season, the latest in last weekend’s draw at home to Derbyshire, Billy has a top score of 67 in as many appearances in 2024.

Glamorgan were not in action during the latest round of matches, and they have drawn all three games so far. 

Ottis Gibson

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Yorkshire head coach Ottis Gibson.

Yorkshire’s rest week comes after this game. 

Glamorgan are captained by former Yorkshire loanee Sam Northeast, the top order batter who started the season with a record-breaking 335 not out in a draw against Middlesex at Lord’s last month. It was the highest ever individual score on that ground. 

He has replaced fellow batter Kiran Carlson at the helm, while New Zealander Grant Bradburn is in his first season as coach.

Pakistani seamer Mir Hamza has taken three wickets in as many games at the start of his overseas deal with the county. Australian batting star Marnus Labuschagne is also contracted for this season, but he has missed the opening weeks of the summer in order to rest. 

Yorkshire coach Ottis Gibson spoke after the Derbyshire game about his frustrations with the recent weather, his determination to ensure the county are always on the front foot and how he wants to try and ensure his side are playing on more result-conducive pitches at Headingley.

He didn’t rule out playing two spinners in this fixture – “We’ll look at all those things,” he said.

Matthew Revis

Picture by John Heald. Matthew Revis walks off at Cardiff last September with a maiden first-class five-for to his name – Yorkshire’s last meeting with Glamorgan.

But he is confident that his team is playing good enough cricket to ensure they meet their promotion target from Division Two across the next 10 matches

“We’re playing well – we’re playing good enough cricket,” he added. 

“Leicester, over four days, we felt like we would have had an opportunity there. 

“Bristol, we had an opportunity even though the weather intervened. We couldn’t get over the line on the last day when conditions were terrible by the way, windy and very cold with a very flat pitch and the Kookaburra ball. 

“We didn’t play well at Lord’s and got what we deserved. Derby, again the weather.

“Guys are making runs, and we’re bowling well and taking wickets – perhaps not enough. You need to take 20 to win a match. But we’re very confident in what we’re doing. If we had four good days, I’m very confident we would have won the game (Derbyshire). There’s no question in my mind about that. 

“It says it will be 20 degrees this weekend, apparently, so I can’t wait for that to happen.”

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