“I have enjoyed everything,” says Shan Masood when asked to sum up his first season as Yorkshire’s overseas player and captain.
The Pakistan international has headed home to get stuck into a domestic campaign with a spring in his step having led the county to a season-ending LV= Insurance County Championship win over Worcestershire at Headingley late last month.
The 33-year-old scored a superb 123 to anchor a final day chase of 360, lifting Yorkshire from the foot of the Division Two table with their third win.
In the end, Yorkshire would have finished third in the division not accounting for the well-documented 48-point penalty.
“Before signing for the club, you had an idea of what it had gone through,” said the prolific left-hander, who totalled 720 runs from seven Championship matches at an average of 60.
“It was going through a challenge and a half, but we put some decent performances in. But performances are a by-product of how the club is run, and I think the management have provided us with the perfect environment.
“Yes, we had uncertainty with the points deduction for the first half of the season and could we get promoted or not. Despite that, I think the club has run itself very well throughout the year.
“There have been difficult situations, be it dealing with selection or myself arriving with an injury (dislocated finger).
“It took time. I wasn’t here at the start of the season and ended up going to Sri Lanka in the middle for the Test tour. That causes a lot of uncertainty.
“But the dressing room has been great. I get along with the boys really well – they are fantastic – and I’m looking forward to coming back here next year. Next year, nothing will be new to me.”
Masood paid tribute to Yorkshire’s coaching staff.
“That’s the most important thing,” he said. “The coaches are responsible for managing the players on a day-to-day basis, and they’re responsible for creating a culture and an environment.
“I feel very lucky that we have some fantastic personnel here, whether it’s Gibbo, Ali or Kabir. I’ll struggle to name everyone down through the structure, but Tom Smith and all the second-team coaches, the medical and sports science staff.
“I’ve worked a lot with Ali Maiden as batting coach, which has been refreshing for me. I’ve found someone who matches my rhythm in terms of throwing the ball. But it’s not just that. We have a lot of chats about my game.
“It’s very important that players are made to feel at home because the season’s a long time, and most of the players spend their off-season here as well. It needs to be a family, and it’s very important the kind of people they are.
“It’s a very, very good set-up and team environment that we have here.”
And on his own form, he added: “I would have wanted more runs.
“Thirteen innings is not a lot considering it’s a 14-game season, but I’m averaging 60. There have been contributions, and I’ve enjoyed my batting.
“I have played a few loose shots, which is part of the game. But I feel like I’m getting better as a batter.”