Andrew Gale believes Yorkshire’s back-to-back Championship title success in 2014 and 2015, added to a near miss the year after, will be a tough act for counties to repeat.

Surrey’s slow start to their title defence – two defeats and three draws from five games – has brought Yorkshire’s feat into focus, especially given the two counties are meeting each other at Guildford this week.

Today’s opening day was washed out due to rain at 1.20pm.

Gale, captain of Yorkshire in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and now coach, said: “Looking back, you realise how good an achievement that was to nearly win three in a row because, as we’ve seen in recent years, it’s hard work to back it up.

“Surrey are not having it all their own way, and Somerset have come out of the traps really strong.

“The cricket we played and the records we broke in that second year, you realise how much of an achievement it was. Whether that will be done again, I don’t know.

“Who knows, Surrey might go on an unbelievable run of form and win it again because they’re a very good side. But I think it will be incredibly hard for teams to back up and win it again.

“Things just fell into line for us, and we had a real presence about us.

“There were a lot of international players and some on the verge of international cricket. It was very special.

“To go close for a third year, missing out in the last session of the season (at Middlesex), was a phenomenal effort.”

An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

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