Harry Duke was quick to set out Yorkshire’s target when he sat down to preview the Metro Bank One-Day Cup, which kicks off for the Vikings at Scarborough tomorrow.

“All counties see it as an opportunity to win a trophy, and we’re no different,” said the wicketkeeper-opener, who is aiming to be at Trent Bridge for the September 16 final.

“It would be amazing if we can get there. But there’s a lot of work to do.”

That work starts against champions Kent Spitfires at North Marine Road (11am), a clash quickly followed by the eagerly anticipated Roses clash against Lancashire on Thursday – a team who finished as competition runners-up last year. 

“We qualified for the quarter-finals the year before and were really close to qualifying last year – we were just one win away,” continued the 21-year-old.

“We’ll go into Kent and then Lancashire, back ourselves and get stuck in. 

Duke and his team-mates will tomorrow wear a special retro kit to celebrate Yorkshire Day – a remake of the county’s first ever coloured kit worn during the 1993 season.

Matthew Fisher

Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com. Matthew Fisher, in Yorkshire’s retro kit, has been struck by Harry Duke fever.

Duke has been one of the leading lights for the Vikings in this competition over the last two seasons. In 2021, he was handed the opener’s role – something he was new to – and took to it like a duck to water.

He has scored 536 runs in 15 innings across the last two campaigns, including scores of 125, 111, 87 and 85. He was last season’s leading run-scorer for the Vikings with 330 runs. 

“My first year, I’d never done it before, and I was fresh and wide-eyed to it,” he continued. 

“Opening the batting with Will Fraine is something I’ve really enjoyed over the last couple of years. He’s taken the pressure off me, and I’ve sort of gone under the radar a bit.”

Tomorrow promises to be Duke’s first first-team appearance of 2023.

“I’ve not played any first-team cricket this year, so I’ve said to myself, ‘I just want to enjoy this competition’,” he said.  

“I’m playing with lads who I’ve played with since I was 10 and 11. It’s good to look around the field and think, ‘Flippin’ eck, we’ve come a long way’. We love playing together. 

“As a group, a lot of of us have had some good opportunities in this competition over the last few years. George Hill played really well last year, Will Luxton as well. 

“Hilly captained against Cheshire, and he’s someone we look up to. He’s played a lot of cricket now and has played some great knocks for the club and has taken a few wickets.”

Shan Masood returned to England at the weekend following Pakistan Test duty in Sri Lanka and will captain the Vikings against a Kent side including the likes of Jack Leaning, on-loan leg-spinner Matthew Parkinson and Australian overseas all-rounder James Bazley, who has been signed purely for this competition.

Duke has spent his summer playing for Yorkshire’s second team, added to Bradford League appearances for Farsley, 

“I’d have liked to have scored a few more runs in the second team, to be honest,” he said. “I’d have wanted to put more pressure on to go up and have a game in the first team. But I haven’t quite done that.

“I’m pleased with my keeping. I’ve kept quite nicely in the seconds. There’s been a few tricky surfaces to keep on, so I feel like that’s moving in the right direction.

“I’ve still been working with Chris Read throughout the winter and this summer. Tapping into his brain has been really nice. Over the winter, I saw him once every two weeks and once a month in the summer.”

Duke revealed last summer that he had been taking advice from the former England and Nottinghamshire man, and continues to do so alongside the more regular work done with Yorkshire’s coaching staff, including the likes of Tom Smith, Tim Boon and James Lowe at second-team level. 

“After I got dropped from the first team last year, Steve Patterson introduced me to him,” he said. “And it’s been brilliant for me to tap into his knowledge.

“He was a keeper you could watch all day, wasn’t he.

“Everyone’s different in their styles, but he’s definitely someone I’m trying to learn as much as I can from.”

 

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