Rich Pyrah bleeds Yorkshire. So much so, that he no doubt reckons the national anthem is On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at.
It’s no real surprise, therefore, that the former all-rounder always loved playing against Lancashire, with the county’s current assistant coach admitting that Roses T20s were always the ones that got his blood pumping the most and now make him pine for his playing days to return.
Take a look back through classic Blast clashes – in this case, classic means Yorkshire wins – between the two rivals and Pyrah’s name is a common denominator.
“For somebody like myself who just played county cricket, it’s as close as you get to playing international cricket with the size of the crowd, people watching on Sky, etc,” he said.
“For that reason, it makes it a bigger game than most, and I used to enjoy that big occasion.
“The rivalry is so good because Yorkshire and Lancashire always seem to play their homegrown lads, and we’ve all come through together and played against each other since 13 or 14.
“That rivalry carries on and builds over the years.
“Us and Lancs have also had some big name overseas players, and that only adds to the mix.
“The only time I’ve ever missed playing is when the Yorkshire v Lancashire T20 games come around.”
Pyrah also scored a brilliant Championship century in 2011, although it could not prevent defeat.
“All Roses games seemed to bring out the best in me. There’s always a bit of banter on the field, which suited me. I liked them going at me, which probably made me play better,” he said, before tipping both sides to challenge in this summer’s Blast.
“It made me more attacking, especially in Championship cricket. I wanted to take the battle to them and not stand back. I’ve always enjoyed playing against them.
“For ourselves, we’ve come such a long way in limited overs cricket recently, to not be in the mix to win it has been disappointing. We want to change that this year.
“Both sides are very talented, and I’m sure we’ll both be pushing for quarter-finals and beyond.”