British summer time is upon us. Longer days, sunshine, not as many leaves falling off the trees – but if you’re like me and many other cricket fanatics, summer time means cricket time!
After we were treated to a generous helping of six weeks of brilliant cricket at the cricket world cup, more cricket will be served up on the sporting menu. Cricket’s County Championship which will include nine teams in two divisions, is going to commence on 12th April.
The County championship was won last year by our very own Yorkshire who asserted their dominance in the domestic game with their 31st title. The team at Asian Sunday take a look at Yorkshire’s chances this year and to see if they have the chances of retaining their crown. Last years title run in was brilliant as three teams were in with a shout of winning cricket’s top domestic prize.
Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire and of course Yorkshire – were the three teams involved in an epic three horse race, which was a great advert for English cricket. How times have changed.
Cricket in England although maybe isn’t quite at all time low, is pretty close to it after sadly yet another disappointing showing on the world stage. James Taylor, Adam Lyth and Sam Hain are three players who played in the top three sides and did well for their teams, guess what? They are all English! Here’s to hoping that these three have good seasons to help England blood the next generation of youngsters.
Taylor though having said that, has now become a regular in England’s one day squad – long may that continue. Yorkshire who pipped Notts to the title will face a Leeds/Bradford XI on 7th April before they start their defence on April 12th against Worcestershire and then face Nottinghamshire, the team they beat on the final day of last season . What a game that promises to be!
The Tykes as they’re also known, came into this season knowing they will be the team that teams want to beat most. A side that was young and filled with the hunger, captain Andrew Gayle had a brilliant crop of youngsters such as Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Adam Lythe at his disposal. All three of these players were brilliant through out the season – i add Adil Rashid and Tim Bresnan to that impressive trio and these two were key in complimenting Yorkshire’s impressive batting line up. Mind you Rashid and Bresnan are no mugs with the cricket bat.
Last seasons success in part was down to inspirational coach Jason Gillespie, Yorkshire will be hoping he works his magic this year also.
Although rules and regulations do allow overseas players to sign for clubs, we feel it was Yorkshire’s homegrown players that were key to their 31st championship win. This season might be harder, due to the reasons we already mentioned – but the signings of Cheteshwar Pujara (who replaced Younus Khan last minute) until Aaron Finch arrives after end IPL and Kane Williamson for the last three games of the season, could prove a master stroke.
In the shorter form of the games the signing of Glen Maxwell for T20 will no doubt please the fans. Azeem Rafiq getting released is a blow for Rafiq as he is destined for great things – but the Yorkshire youngster’s injury record didn’t help unfortunately, not to forget to mention the retirement of 19 year old Barney Gibson who wants to pursue other career opportunities.
Just like in football , to bring people in you have to people out if you will – but the quality of the signings that Yorkshire have made in the close season means that they won’t be giving away their title away that easily.
They had to wait some 12 years for this one – and I don’t think they will be in the mood to give it back just yet.