After the 1970 season Yorkshire skipper Brian Close had been sacked in dramatic and controversial circumstances. Although the county had performed poorly in the one-day competitions – the official reason for his dismissal – Close had given the county hope by rising nine places to finish in fourth place in the County Championship. Paul Dyson gives an account of what happened in the first season under a new captain.

There was no doubt that Geoff Boycott was easily Yorkshire’s best player when 1971 dawned. However, could the opening batsman, with his regular England commitments, develop the new younger players who were coming on the scene now that the hugely successful side of the 1960s was breaking up even more than it had already done so? Also, was he the type of captain who could encourage others to perform at his own high standards? These were questions which must have been on the minds of the Yorkshire CCC committee which appointed him and it could well have been seen as a gamble.

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