LIAM PLUNKETT has targeted an Ashes appearance this year, and believes the forthcoming champion county clash could help his cause.
Plunkett has starred for England with the white ball against the West Indies over the last week or so, taking a series high 10 wickets from three matches.
No other bowler on either side matched his haul.
Now, he wants to return to Test cricket for the first time since 2014, and he believes impressing for the MCC against Middlesex in Abu Dhabi later this month is the perfect way to start his bid.
Ironically, it is an injury to Yorkshire team-mate Matthew Fisher (groin) which has opened the door for Plunkett, who was not initially selected by the MCC for the fixture starting March 26.
“I’d love to play in the Ashes,” he said. “I’ve been 12th man there. At the start of the summer, I’m playing in the MCC game, which I’m looking forward to.
“(You could) get a flier there, pick up a five-fer and you go back home feeling great about yourself. So I jumped at the chance to do that.”
YORKSHIRE WILL play Papua New Guinea and Lancashire in two-day matches on tour in Dubai later this month as they gear up for the new county season.
The White Rose county fill face the Associate nation and their fiercest rivals at the Sevens Ground and the ICC Global Academy.
They also face PNG and the United Arab Emirates Blues side in one-day matches.
Yorkshire v PNG, Mar 22-23, Dubai Sevens
Yorkshire v Lancashire, Mar 26-27, Dubai ICC Global Academy
Yorkshire v PNG, Mar 29, Dubai Sevens
Yorkshire v UAE Blues, Mar 31, Dubai Sevens
EARLIER THIS week, Yorkshire announced their financial results for the year ending 2016, with the club recording a small pre-tax profit.
A profit of £3,000 was the first surplus recorded since 2009.
Director of finance Paul Hudson said: “The club are delighted with this excellent set of results, which are another step forward in improving its financial position.
“However, there remain many financial sensitivities within the club’s financial results. In the light of these, it remains important that finances continue to be managed in a very careful manner.”
Yorkshire remain more than £24m in debt, although there have been encouraging signs, with a reduction in the club’s annual interest payments by approximately £300,000 per annum since the financial restructure in 2015.
Chief executive Mark Arthur added: “These are exciting and yet challenging times for Yorkshire CCC, having made significant progress both on and off the field in the last few years.
“We have had tremendous support from our members, corporate partners, stakeholders, players and staff in achieving this turnaround.”