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Roses matches always close encounters - Pyrah

Richard Pyrah of Yorkshire Vikings celebrates hitting the winning runs at Old Trafford on June 6, 2014 in Manchester, England.
— 12 February 2018

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 went on: “This fixture is the one everyone looks for first, home and away.

    “It will be interesting to see what happens with the new competition coming in. Hopefully we get a team and Lancashire get one and that rivalry continues.”

    Pyrah’s performances in Roses T20s stood out in particular in 2008 and 2013 when he took three wickets in a home win and a tie and in 2014 when he hit the winning runs with a big last over six over cover at Old Trafford.

    “The main memory for me would be hitting the six to win at Old Trafford,” he said.

    “To do it at Headingley is special, but to do it over there and silence their crowd is something I’ll remember for the rest of my days. I came in at quite a difficult time, so to finish it off was very special.

    “The other one that stands out is when I took 3-15 off my four at Headingley when we tied. We pulled it back through the middle and got a result.

    “They always seem to be very close games, which adds to the excitement.

    “It’s amazing how close the games have been. That tie, the game Jos Buttler won at our place in 2015 went down to the last ball too and last season’s tie over there with the rain.”

  • Richard Pyrah walks of at tea celebrating his maiden first class century.
  • 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.”

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