Yorkshire’s openness to discuss the prospect of winning trophies has been music to Dawid Malan’s ears.
England batsman Malan has arrived at Emerald Headingley on a four-year deal at a time when the White Rose hierarchy believe a transitional period is coming to a close.
It is almost five years since Yorkshire last won a trophy – the 2015 County Championship title. Since then, the prospect of silverware has been played down given the loss of some senior heads.
The county’s hierarchy wanted to give their youngsters time to develop without the pressure of having to challenge year in, year out. Any success would have been a bonus.
Now, though, things are different. The younger players are more experienced and ready to shine, while Malan has joined a group of senior players who can guide the team towards glory.
And that starts this weekend with an assault on the shortened four-day Bob Willis Trophy, a competition Yorkshire begin against Durham at Emirates Riverside on Saturday.
“What I’ve really liked here so far is Andrew Gale’s openness to say, ‘We want to win trophies’,” said left-handed Malan, 32.
“You can see the excitement amongst the boys having not played for so long.
“There’s a feeling around the group of everyone being desperate to play and are excited about what’s to come.
“We want to be pushing to finish in the top two teams so we have a chance of winning the Bob Willis Trophy.
“It’s talked about how the last two or three years have been building to get to a stage where Yorkshire are in a position to be winning.
“They wanted to win, but it was more a realisation that a couple of younger boys were finding their feet.
“This year, with the players we have – Gary Ballance, Duanne Olivier, David Willey might be around for some four-dayers, Jonny (Bairstow) might be around for the second or third four-day game – you’re looking at a really strong team.
“When you have that, you want to be pushing to win trophies. That’s been fed on by the players in the changing room.