Yorkshire journalist Guy Williams gives his thoughts on the club’s 2019 campaign.

As Yorkshire launch their Championship campaign at Trent Bridge against Nottinghamshire full of optimism and, after a successful pre-season in which several individuals have stood out, such as Matthew Waite, Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Jonny Tattersall, I recall a meeting with Martyn Moxon before Christmas.

Looking ahead to the 2019 season, Yorkshire’s Director of Cricket, stressed two points which I remember clearly.

The first was that he was trying to recruit a South African fast bowler and the second was that he and First XI coach Andrew Gale hoped this summer to give regular first-team opportunities -in all formats – to the talented but less experienced cricketers on Yorkshire’s staff.

Three months later, the first part of their ambitious plan was achieved when Duanne Olivier agreed in February to sign a deal lasting three years.

The significance of Olivier’s arrival, both for the player and the county, should be clear to everyone by now, and assuming he and Ben Coad stay fully fit and continue their outstanding form, Yorkshire possess a new-ball opening attack that surely ranks with the best.

As to the plans to see how Academy and Second XI players cope with the demands of Championship, 50-over and T20 cricket, it’s too early to comment in detail, but when the opportunity arises and the conditions are right, there will be more first-team outings for spinners Josh Poysden, James Logan and Karl Carver, and the same applies to quick bowler Matthew Fisher once he’s over his latest set-back.

Other younger players to watch out for, among others, are: Tom Loten, a batting all-rounder, fast-bowler Jared Warner, off-spinner Jack Shutt, wicket-keeper Ben Birkhead and batsman James Wharton.

An image of Lauren Winfield-Hill and Adil Rashid, with the Yorkshire logo and Northern Diamonds logo in the middle

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