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Sidebottom keen to mark return to action

— 18 May 2017

Ryan Sidebottom is ready for his first game of the season against Lancashire at Emirates Old Trafford tomorrow following injury, and he can’t wait.

Sidebottom has missed the first month and a half of the new campaign due to a hamstring injury he picked up whilst on pre-season tour in Dubai in March.

The 39-year-old seamer has been playing second XI cricket during the last fortnight in a bid to ready himself for his final summer before retirement.

“I’ve had a couple of games at High Wycombe and Harrogate with the twos, and it’s gone really well,” he said.

“As usual when you’re out injured, you do the hard yards in the gym and you’re chomping at the bit to play.

“Especially when the team’s out there, you want to be with them whether you’re winning or losing.

“I still get that buzz of seeing other players taking wickets, but also it does kind of annoy me in a nice way.

“It’s gone well so far, and I’m looking forward to Lancashire.

“It’s been really frustrating.

“I probably would have been fit for the last game at Hampshire, but with me being a little bit older, it takes a bit longer to get the body in shape.

“Bowling 20-25 overs in a day, you need to be 100 percent fit.

“I’ve done my stuff, I’m ready, and hopefully I can play these 11 games and add to the team and contribute as I’ve always tried to do throughout my career.”

Yorkshire, who also have Jack Brooks fit again after his pre-season calf injury, have lost one, won one and drawn one of their first three Championship matches and sit fourth in Division One nine points behind early leaders Surrey.

“It’s been a little bit mixed,” said Sidebottom.

“I’m sure the lads would say they’ve not played the greatest cricket so far.

“Over the last two or three years, we probably haven’t played to our consistency or the level we should be at as a team.

“There’s been some cracking individual performances from the likes of Ben Coad and Gary Ballance.

“But to win regularly you’re top six needs to score runs regularly and your bowlers need to bowl as a unit. I don’t think we’ve quite done that. Hopefully Friday we can.

“Although we’re only three games down the line, we really need to play a bit better if we’re to fight for the trophy come August and September.”

Lancashire, who sit second in the table with two draws and a win, will have Jimmy Anderson and Haseeb Hameed available tomorrow, and also at Headingley for the return clash in a fortnight’s time.

But they are without a win against Yorkshire in four-day cricket since 2011.

“When you look at our record against all teams in Championship cricket over the last five or six years, it’s been up there,” added Sidebottom.

“It’s always nice to play Lancashire, and there’s always that bit of nitty gritty.

“They’ve done pretty well this season. They’ve got some good young players coming through like Liam Livingstone and some Kolpaks as well.

“You always play that extra 10 or 20 percent when Yorkshire are playing Lancashire or visa versa. We’re in for a good game.”