Lancashire v Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Friday 19th – Monday 22nd May 2017, Emirates Old Trafford.
In the latest edition of the ‘Yorkshire Informer’, we look ahead to the first of two consecutive Specsavers County Championship fixtures against Lancashire, as the White Rose travel across the pennines to face their Roses rivals.
We hear from Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon and we’ll also bring you the very latest team news and a full statspack.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE TEAM’S START TO THE SEASON?
“It seems a while since we last played a County Championship game, but as far the 50-over competition is concerned we’re really pleased with the way it’s gone.
“Obviously, it would have been nice to have finished top of the group but to finish top of the group and to have won six from eight games; we certainly would have taken that at the start of the competition. We have also played some very good cricket during that period.
“As far as the mood and the form is concerned, things are good. We’ve obviously got Jack Brooks and Ryan Sidebottom back from injury and available for selection again so that strengthens the squad. So it’s just about getting our minds back on the four-day format and the discipline that’s required for that. Hopefully we can go to Old Trafford and get a win.
“I guess in Championship cricket we haven’t quite hit the heights that we’d like as a team yet, but there’s a long way to go and it’s now about us focusing on Championship cricket for a few games now and getting back to the processes that work and everyone in the team contributing and playing their part.”
HOW TOUGH WILL IT BE TO GO THERE AND GET THE WIN?
“There’s no guide to this match from our 50-over win against them. They’ve got some experienced players and James Anderson in their team makes them a lot stronger. He’s a high quality performer and they will be a tough nut to crack.
“It’s about how we perform and we know if we play to the best of our ability we can beat any side in the country.
“It would be massive to get the win because it keeps us up there with the top teams in the league. It’s going to be incredibly competitive this season and we’ve seen that already. Every game is going to matter and every point we can get is going to be vital.
“There’s always something special about Roses matches, but it is just another game to try and win because in the context of the season each game is just as important to be honest. There’s no doubting it’s incredibly competitive and we need to be at our best to get the victory. When you win it gives you confidence going into the next game and keeps you at the forefront and in with a chance of winning the County Championship, which is the ultimate aim.”
Ryan Sidebottom returns having 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.
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.
YORKSHIRE’S 14-MAN SQUAD TO FACE LANCASHIRE:
Gary Ballance (Captain)
Andrew Hodd (Wicketkeeper)
o Yorkshire are unbeaten in four meetings with Lancashire (W2 D2); having previously gone 14 attempts without a win over their rivals (D11 L3).
o Lancashire’s last win at Old Trafford against Yorkshire came back in the 2000 campaign; the visitors haven’t tasted defeat in 10 games there since (W3 D7).
o Yorkshire have only lost three times in their last 46 outings on the road (W16 D27).
o Gary Ballance (Yorkshire) has registered 508 runs so far this season; 150 more than anybody else (averaging 127).
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A rather cloudy day on Friday, with outbreaks of rain for many, especially in the south and east, where it will be cool.
SATURDAY, SUNDAY, MONDAY
Early rain on Saturday clearing to leave sunshine and frequent, perhaps thundery showers. Isolated showers likely on Sunday, allowing more in the way of sunshine. Drier and brighter on Monday.