Jordan Thompson is ‘wishing you were here’ to give the Lancastrians some stick during tomorrow night’s Roses clash at Emerald Headingley.
The behind closed doors nature of this summer’s cricket has been strange – in the Bob Willis Trophy, the Vitality Blast and the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for the women.
But that feeling will only intensify for this week’s two televised Roses Blast clashes with Lancashire, at Emerald Headingley tomorrow and Emirates Old Trafford on Thursday.
Both games are usually the best days of the year, with packed crowds and fervent atmospheres the norm instead of eery silence.
The North Group clashes, with huge consequences in terms of quarter-final qualification, will both be televised by Sky Sports (6.35pm).
But they still won’t be the same, as in-form all-rounder Thompson explains.
“It was very strange playing in that first Blast game here against Derbyshire (August 30),” said the 23-year-old.
“It was just weird, more so than four-day cricket.
“In four-day cricket, you usually get a murmur but don’t expect the noise you get in a T20.
“In that Derby game, we even had to be wary of how loudly we were talking to each other on the bench because, usually, you can talk quite loudly with the crowd drowning you out. But you could hear a pin drop.
“So if you talked too loud, the opposition could potentially hear you out on the field.
“Once you’re out there fielding, it doesn’t feel any different because you just block everything else out.
“But the Roses games will be very, very strange because we all know how good the atmospheres are.
“I haven’t actually played in one at Old Trafford, only running the drinks. And when they get the big stand there full, it’s like a football crowd.
“Fingers crossed it’s just these two games that it has to be like this and we can get back to normal next year because we really miss having crowds in.”
Thompson also has an interesting take on which team the lack of a crowd favours.
“It probably will favour the away teams in both games,” he said.
“Going there to Old Trafford, we usually get abused on the boundary and them here in front of the Western Terrace. It’s uncomfortable because nobody likes being shouted at, and does it maybe create a level playing field? Yes, I think so.
“But it’s on TV – both are – and it will still be intense. We definitely don’t want to be losing to them.
“There will be a few lads maybe getting their first taste of it, and they’ll be chomping at the bit.”
Both need to win having lost their most recent games on Friday – the Vikings at Leicestershire and the Lightning just up the M1 at Nottinghamshire.
Lancashire have won three from six with two No Results and have eight points, while Yorkshire have won two, lost two and had two No Results and sit on six points.
Group leaders Notts are attempting to move to 12 points today with a win over Derbyshire, while a Leicester win could move them to second place on nine points.
The White Rose are thinking three wins from their last four games will be enough to seal a top two spot for automatic quarter-final qualification, while the two best third-placed finishers from the North, Central and South also advance.
Thompson has enjoyed a fabulous run of form in this shortened summer, highlighted by 234 runs and 15 wickets in five four-day games.
He also hit a brutal 44 in the defeat against Leicester on Friday, but unfortunately backed it up with a damaging 0-38 from two overs with the ball.
His form has been a huge boost for Yorkshire, with their succession plan following Tim Bresnan’s departure reaping immediate reward.
Bowling coach Rich Pyrah said: “It’s very rare that a young all-rounder comes in and performs with bat and ball. Normally it’s one skill and the other takes a while to come through.
“But Tommo has proved this year he can win the game with the ball and the bat for us, which is gold dust.
“He’s pretty much nailed his spot now.”
“But Matthew Waite has still got so much promise as well. He’s had some bad luck with injuries, but he will still be pushing, as will George Hill.
“We’ve got a lot of young all-rounders pushing for the same spot.”
• Lancashire have won only three of their last eight completed T20 matches against Yorkshire at Headingley.
• There have been four scores of 200 or over (three by Lancashire and one by Yorkshire) in T20 matches between these two counties but all have been made at Old Trafford. The highest total at Headingley is 186 for six by Lancashire in 2015. Yorkshire’s highest at Headingley is 185 for six made in the same match.
• Yorkshire’s highest individual innings in a T20 match against Lancashire at Headingley is 108 not out by Ian Harvey in 2004. No Lancashire batsman has scored a T20 century at Headingley, the highest innings being Andrew Flintoff’s 85 in 2004.
• In 2017 Tim Bresnan took six for 19 against Lancashire at Headingley but Lancashire’s best
Vitality Blast tables