Steve Patterson says silverware is a realistic aim for Yorkshire in 2020.
The White Rose captain is in bullish mood as the new season approaches, talking up their winter preparation so far and the club’s “excellent” recruitment drive.
Transition has been an often used word since the county went close to winning a third straight Specsavers County Championship title in 2016, with success not that close in any of the three subsequent campaigns.
However, when listening to Patterson talk up the county’s hopes for success, it is fair to assume the T word won’t be used as much from now on.
He said: “I genuinely do think we can win something.
“If you look back at our Championship performances last year, we had two disappointing games at the back end – Somerset away and Kent at home, which we accept. But prior to that, we were third and not a million miles from the top of the table. For the side we had, it was a huge achievement.
“If you look at where we are this year compared to last, we are better placed.
“When I spoke about this season when we were sat at Edgbaston during that last game in September, I said, ‘A high quality overseas is key and someone to bolster our batting’. So bringing in Keshav Maharaj, Ravi Ashwin and Dawid Malan are excellent pieces of business by the club.
“I think we are in a lot stronger position than we were last year. Not only have we brought those lads in, our younger lads have another year of experience behind them. Will Fraine, Matthew Fisher, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, these sorts of players. I think it will be a really big year for Tom.
“We also have an overseas for 10-12 games instead of four or five that we had Kesh for last year. That’s a huge boost for us.
“We were light on batting last year, but we’ve signed Dawid. He is a quality, quality player, an international cricketer. His achievements speak for themselves.”
Yorkshire’s squad have been back in training since November and are building up to a mid-March pre-season tour (the details of which are to be announced shortly) and the first Championship game against Gloucestershire at Emerald Headingley on Sunday April 12.
Another reason to hearten seamer Patterson is the continuity which has come with fewer players being abroad this winter.
“We’ve had quite a few lads in, and they’ve worked really hard on both their physical shape and cricket skills,” he said.
“As a squad in previous years we’ve kind of been all over the place, but this winter, by and large, everyone’s been here. Dave’s (Willey) been in, Lythy’s been around. Gary (Ballance) and Brez have been given a bit more time off, but everyone else has been in aside from the obvious ones like Rooty and Jonny, Duanne being back in South Africa.
“It’s been really good for the environment and the atmosphere. It pushes lads to work as hard as they can because they see the competition in front of them and think, ‘I want to give myself the best chance’.
“Hopefully, by the time the season comes around, we have covered every base and it should be an exciting start to the year.”