“Everybody’s in a good place and ready to start the season this week.”
That was Ottis Gibson’s assessment of his Yorkshire squad as they concluded their pre-season programme with a friendly draw against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities at Headingley today, a game which saw them dominate for two days before being held up on the third.
Coach Gibson was reflecting on a recent run of friendly fixtures both in Cape Town and at Headingley over the last month.
“The weather in Cape Town didn’t play ball with us as much as we’d have liked,” continued the former West Indies fast bowler.
“So the two-day game (Durham) last week and this one, we tried to get the bowlers’ loads up and ensure the batters really spent some time in the middle.”
Now it is onto the competitive stuff on Thursday against Leicestershire at Headingley as the LV= Insurance County Championship Division Two campaign begins.
Despite Gibson’s confidence, there are still a few ifs and buts before he inks in his season-opening eleven.
England batter Dawid Malan will definitely be in it: “He is available for selection and will play,” said the coach.
There are question marks over two captains, Shan Masood and his stand-in Jonny Tattersall.
Masood is awaiting news of potential Pakistan selection for forthcoming limited overs series against New Zealand.
Gibson said: “We haven’t heard anything yet.
“The selection was supposed to have been today in Pakistan. We’re waiting for the selectors to inform the players. Once we know what’s going on, if he’s available, we can get him on a plane as soon as possible.”
As for Tattersall, he injured a little finger during day two of this match and sat out today’s action.
“It’s still a little bit swollen, but the physio thinks it should be alright,” continued the coach. “We kept him off the field today so he could continue to ice it.
“It’s got some swelling in it, but the physio thinks once that goes down and he gets some flexibility in his finger, he should be alright.
“At the moment, I’m not overly concerned.”
Yorkshire could also have another overseas player in their ranks come Thursday morning, something which is currently being held up by red tape.
Gibson added of injured Neil Wagner’s replacement: “We’ve had discussions with Saud Shakeel and his agent.
“The reality is that when it comes to Pakistani players getting visas, it takes longer than normal. He’s been trying to get a visa for around two weeks and nothing’s happened.
“Until he gets that visa, there’s not a lot we can say or do.”