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Match Preview: Yorkshire Vikings vs Surrey (RL One-Day Cup)

— 21 July 2021

“You can play as much second-team cricket as you want,” said Rich Pyrah. “But the development stops until you start to play in the first team.”

It is clear that the next month is a hugely important one in Yorkshire’s short to medium-term future.

Assistant and bowling coach Pyrah is leading a much changed Vikings team in the Royal London one-day Cup, starting against Surrey at Scarborough tomorrow (11am).

Ten senior White Rose players are unavailable due to their commitments in the Hundred, as is head coach Andrew Gale for the same reason.

That opens the door for young players to shine.

Will Luxton, Matthew Revis and Jack Shutt are the prime examples of highly rated players who will get the chance to press their claims at various stages between now and, hopefully, August 19 – the date of the Trent Bridge final.

Those three all played in yesterday’s friendly win against Northumberland at North Marine Road and are yet to make a competitive first-team appearance in 2021.

Tall batsman Luxton, 18 and from Skipton, is yet to debut in the first team.

Even experiences for more senior heads are important.

Dom Bess will captain a team at first-team level for the first time, while seamer Ben Coad has only played 17 times in List A cricket despite being a regular in the Championship.

Will Fraine, a centurion against Northumberland, has only ever played four List A games.

“You can feel the excitement with the younger players,” said Pyrah.

“Can we find another superstar for Yorkshire?

“During this comp, can one of these young lads stand up and put their name forward and give us another option for T20 cricket, or another option for Championship cricket?”

All counties have been affected by Hundred call-ups to varying degrees.

Surrey, like Yorkshire, have 10 players unavailable to them.

Though South African batsman Hashim Amla is available as their overseas player, just as Duanne Olivier and Mat Pillans are for Yorkshire.

  • “It’s hard to judge the other teams,” said Pyrah when assessing the runners and riders for the competition. “The likes of Northants in our group have only lost a couple of players. So they’re going to be pretty strong.

    “I know Essex have only lost one and have signed an overseas player for the tournament as well (New Zealand all-rounder Jimmy Neesham).

    “There’s going to be such varied squads about.

    “Your bigger clubs who have lost a lot of players will be playing a lot of younger players.

    “I think it’s just really exciting for the game to give these younger players opportunity at first-team level, which they probably wouldn’t get if the Hundred wasn’t here.

    “To say that we’re going to win the competition is probably unrealistic. But, if these lads play to their potential and keep on growing, then who knows where we’ll get to.”

    Not only is this a great opportunity for the players, it is for Pyrah as well.

    The former all-rounder went straight into coaching immediately following retirement at the end of 2015.

    This is his second head coaching role after leading the Yorkshire Diamonds women’s side in the first year of the Kia Super League T20 competition in 2016.

    He added: “I’ve spent a lot of time around the white-ball game.

    “To try and apply my knowledge and let these young lads go and play a brand of cricket that’s going to be attacking and fearless, that’s what excites me. We want to be aggressive in the field and be smart.

    “I love what I’m doing at Yorkshire. I’m still learning as a bowling coach, and it’s something I want to take as far as I can.

    “I’ve had opportunities with the England Under 19s this winter. Hopefully a couple more will come in the winter as well.

    “To have this opportunity to lead the team gives me more experience.”


    • There have previously been only six List A matches between these two counties at Scarborough, the first being in 1970 and the most recent in 2007. Yorkshire have won only one, that match being in 1975.

    • Surrey have won four of the last five meetings between these two counties in this format, Yorkshire’s last win coming in 2009 at The Oval.

    • Yorkshire’s highest score against Surrey at home is 289 for nine made in 2017 at Headingley but Surrey scored 375 for four at Scarborough in 1994.

    • Yorkshire’s highest individual innings against Surrey was made as long ago as 1965 when Geoff Boycott scored 146 at Lord’s in the Gillette Cup final. Scott Newman, however, made 177 for Surrey at The Oval in 2009 to create the record for this series.

    • In 1970 at Harrogate, Robin Jackman took seven for 33 for Surrey and these figures remain the second-best against Yorkshire by any opponent. Yorkshire’s best in this series is five for 25 by Darren Gough at Headingley in 1998.