Martyn Moxon says Yorkshire’s participation in this autumn’s Abu Dhabi T20 tournament comes with an eye on the long-term future as well as the short-term.
In the short-term, the county’s Director of Cricket is hoping that this three-day, six-team tournament, starting on October 4 and also involving Hobart Hurricanes, Lahore Qalandars and Afghanistan’s Boost Defenders, will give the Vikings the chance to showcase their white-ball skills on the global stage.
In the long-term, the ex-Yorkshire and England opener is keen to see the door open to any other global 20-over opportunities which may come the club’s way.
While re-affirming that Championship cricket remains of paramount importance at Emerald Headingley, Moxon also accepts that opportunities such as this will give his players the best chance to be ready for the ECB’s new city based competition, which starts in 2020.
“T20 takes up a huge part of the cricket calendar, and we see more and more players wanting to be involved in the tournaments around the world,” said Moxon.
“It will certainly be a challenge going forward as to how we manage that as a club.
“However, clearly Yorkshire also want to be part of any global events, so it’s important we do well in this and put our name up there for any future events that might happen.
“The skills required now for red ball and white ball cricket are probably more different than they’ve ever been.
“With T20 and the white ball not doing much laterally and our red ball, particularly in this country, swinging and seaming, the skills for batters are totally different. The mindset is totally different.
“It is a huge challenge going forward for players and coaches alike to become good at everything.
“We’ll have to see how that pans out over the next few years, but it is something we’re very aware of.
“It’s important to make sure the players still have the right skills to perform in the County Championship, but there is big money for counties in T20 cricket.
“Players also want to be good at T20 because they want to be part of the big money that’s available – particularly with 2020 in mind when we launch our own new T20 competition and players will want to be involved in that.”
The international tournament, starting on Thursday, October 4, will be broadcast live through various channels, as the teams compete in a round-robin stage, with the top two meeting in the final on Sunday, October 6.
Each day, around 20 000 spectators are expected to support the visiting teams at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
Hobart Hurricanes will call on the bowling services of England’s Tymal ‘T’ Mills with Yasir Shah lining up for Lahore Qalandars, and the Titans, meanwhile, will be led by all-round powerhouse Albie Morkel.
Yorkshire chief executive Mark Arthur has also revealed that the prize money is “very meaningful” and that captain Steven Patterson will lead a strong Vikings side determined to make their mark on the world stage.
And he has since spoken about how the invite materialised.
“It has come about from when we were County Champions and visited Abu Dhabi in 2015 and 2016 to play against the MCC,” he said.
“I was chatting to the organisers, Sporta Group, and asked if there were going to be any International club competitions that they consider us.
“Sure enough, they’ve decided to put on an International club competition, and we were invited to take part.
“That’s great for The Yorkshire County Cricket Club and largely because of the club’s reach, not only in this country but throughout the world.
“It also gives the lads extra meaningful white-ball cricket. It gives those that haven’t had the chance to play T20 cricket overseas the chance to experience and learn from that.”