Andrew Gale may have missed out on ticking off a line on his bucket list as a Yorkshire player, but at least he will get second prize next June after this week’s release of the 2020 county fixtures.
“It’s always a game I would have loved to have played in – Lancashire at Scarborough,” said the White Rose coach.
A Roses Specsavers County Championship fixture at North Marine Road, starting on Sunday June 14, stands out as the highlight of Yorkshire’s summer schedule.
It will be the first time since 1991 that the two counties have met on the East Coast and only the third time in first-class history.
“That will be good,” said Gale, whose side also welcome Warwickshire to Scarborough for Festival week in August. “The Roses games are always good and well supported, but that fixture will be a great spectacle.
“It’s not always a full house in June, so to have Lancashire there will likely change that.
“Everyone always talks about Festival week with school holidays and such, but Lancashire will be the bigger fixture this year.”
Yorkshire’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon played in that aforementioned early nineties Championship clash, which the hosts won.
He scored a second-innings century and said: “There’s a special atmosphere at Scarborough. Everyone enjoys going there, players and spectators alike. For one of the games there to be the Roses, it makes it extra special.
“Having played in one myself, it’s a fantastic four days.”
The Yorkshire hierarchy are happy with the make-up of the 2020 schedule, which now includes a fourth competition in the Hundred in mid-summer.
The county start their competitive programme against Division One newcomers Gloucestershire at Emerald Headingley on Easter Sunday, April 12.
It is one of six four-day fixtures before the start of the Vitality Blast on May 29, including a trip to face champions Essex at Chelmsford for their opening fixture on April 19.
“A home game first up is nice,” said Gale.
“A newly promoted team, they will be hungry to do well. But we have got a pretty good record here at Headingley. You always want to get off to a good start.”
There are of course busy periods which will provide challenges. From mid-June to early July, there are three Championship fixtures in and around T20 Blast fixtures, but plans to deal with that can start now.
“(The release of the fixtures) allows us to look at planning the workloads for different players,” explained Moxon.
“With us playing Championship cricket in amongst T20 next year, we can get an idea which players may need to be rested from, say, Championship cricket during that period.
“That obviously has to be flexible because you never know about things like injuries, but you can just put one eye on what might happen.”
At the end of last season, Gale and Moxon spoke about how they believe the transitional period for this squad is coming to a close.
Yorkshire showed signs of progression in the Championship last year, despite finishing fifth, but they never threatened to end a wait for limited overs silverware which stretches back to 2002.
Moxon reiterated: “For the last two or three years, we’ve said, ‘We are in a transitional period – we wanted to find out about some players’. And I think we have.
“The pleasing thing is that we have introduced younger players into the team, whether that be red or white ball cricket. All of them have shown they are capable of performances at that level.
“What we have to do now is get more consistency. It’s now about building on those capabilities.
“The signing of Dawid Malan gives us more experience and quality in our line-up in all formats, which should be a huge positive for us.
“Hopefully we’ll announce in the near future our overseas signings for Championship cricket.
“We’re looking for progression. That’s the bottom line. If we get that, we’ll be knocking on the door for trophies.”