THE YORKSHIRE squad head out to Dubai on Sunday for their near fortnight-long pre-season tour, with matches scheduled against Papua New Guinea, Lancashire and a UAE Blues side.
The White Rose face two-day matches against PNG, starting this Wednesday, and Lancashire before facing PNG and the UAE Blues in one-day matches.
Six bowlers have already travelled to the Gulf to start their preparations early. Those bowlers are Jack Brooks, Ryan Sidebottom, Steve Patterson, Ben Coad, Josh Shaw and James Wainman.
Yorkshire are not involved in either the Emirates Airline T20 competition or the four-day champion county fixture this year, something which Patterson believes will help them stay fresher for longer this year.
“The difficulty of the last two years with the champion county stuff and all that has been that you have to be at a level in mid-March that you’d only normally expect to be at in mid-April,” he said.
“It’s almost extending the season by a month.
“It doesn’t have an effect at this time of year, but it does at the end. It can make you a bit more drained and exhausted.
“As much mentally as physically, you’ve been competing for a bit longer.
“This time, it will be more focused on what we need as a team as opposed to what we have to do.
“We can tailor it to exactly what we need, and surely that will help us later in the year.”
TIM BRESNAN and Jack Leaning are already in Dubai representing the North side in the ECB’s North v the South three-match one-day series to be played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi over the next few days.
The North lost the opening fixture by 10 wickets thanks to an outstanding all-round performance from the South’s bowlers, taking all ten North wickets for just 202. Their opening batsmen, Malan and Bell-Drummond, then knocked off the total to secure the victory.
Leaning, batting at number six, was run out for nine whilst Tim Bresnan made a 41-ball 40 with three fours and as many sixes.
PRIOR TO leaving for Dubai, the Yorkshire squad are attending the funeral of late Yorkshire president John Hampshire in Rotherham today.
Hampshire died on March 1 after a long battle against illness, and he was hugely popular with the players.
“It will be just a small tribute from us for such a great man at what is a tough time for his family and for Yorkshire Cricket,” said Alex Lees.
“It didn’t matter who you were, John would always take time out of his day to speak to you.
“He was good company, and he came into the dressing room a few times last season to chat to the lads and wish us well.
“I’ve known him for a few years now, and I know he was very proud to have the presidency. It was something he thoroughly deserved.
“He’d obviously been fighting illness for some time, but for him to have a successful year at the helm of Yorkshire Cricket is something his family can hold onto.
“Yes, we’ve lost one of the greats of the game, but more so a great bloke.”
RICHARD HUTTON is set to become the Yorkshire CCC president.
On behalf of the club, chairman Steve Denison has written to members calling an EGM at Headingley at 9am on April 7, the opening day of the Championship match against Hampshire, to ratify the recommendation from the board, the nominations committee and Hampshire himself prior to his passing.
“Richard Hutton was a talented all-rounder who played cricket for Bradford in the Bradford League, Cambridge University, the MCC, Yorkshire and England,” said Denison.
“As a batsman, he was equally at home as an opener or in the middle order.
“As a bowler, he had a high, smooth action which underpinned his ability as a medium/fast seamer and made him particularly effective with the new ball.
“Richard was also an excellent slip fielder, a position from which his dry wit could be effectively deployed for the entertainment of incoming batsmen.
“Having retired from cricket, Richard pursued a successful career in banking, accountancy and investment consultancy.
“He was also the Editor of the Cricketer Magazine for seven years, a founder member of the YCCC Players Association, the senior trustee of the YCCC Charitable Youth Trust, and he succeeded his father as Patron of the Southern Group.
“He lives near Wetherby, is married to Charmaine, and they have two grown-up sons.”
YORKSHIRE WILL host their AGM in the Headingley Long Room tomorrow at 10am. Katherine Mathew has been nominated as the club’s first female board member.
Mathew would join Denison and chief executive Mark Arthur on the board alongside Martyn Moxon, Robin Smith, Stephen Willis and Sir Gary Verity.
Arthur said: “Katherine has been a member of the club since the age of four.
“She comes from Beverley, and has served on the members’ committee.
“It’s a positive step for the club (to have a woman on the board). It’s not only the right thing to do, but she’s also the right person to come on.
“She’s young, she’s very well educated, and she works in the public sector in the East Riding. She has all the right qualities, and would represent an excellent appointment.”
GLENN MAXWELL, one of Yorkshire’s overseas players in 2015, today became only the second Australian to complete centuries in all three formats of international cricket.
Maxwell, having already posted ODI and T20I tons, hit 104 in the third Test against India at Ranchi, helping the visitors to a formidable first-innings score of 451.
The all-rounder is playing his first Test Match since November 2014 and only his fourth in all. Each one has been in either India or the UAE, largely due to his capabilities as an off-spinner.