In partnership with the Cricketers’ Who’s Who, here’s Wisden’s profile of Yorkshire for 2018.
HOME GROUND: Emerald Headingley, Leeds
ONE-DAY NAME: Yorkshire Vikings
CAPTAIN: Gary Ballance
2017 RESULTS: CC1: 4/8; RL50: Quarter-finalists; T20: 5/9 North Group
HONOURS: County Championship: (33) 1893, 1896, 1898, 1900, 1901, 1902, 1905, 1908, 1912, 1919, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1946, 1949, 1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1966, 1967, 1968, 2001, 2014, 2015; Gillette/NatWest/C&G/FP Trophy: (3) 1965, 1969, 2002; Benson & Hedges Cup: 1987; Sunday League: 1983
The pressure is on Yorkshire after two barren years since back-to-back Championships. Finishing 100 points behind champions Essex – whom they lost to by 376 runs at Chelmsford – will have hurt, and the threat of relegation hung over Headingley until the final match. The batting decline was sharp: after Gary Ballance (951 runs at 67.92), no one managed more than Adam Lyth’s 555 runs.
Having Cheteshwar Pujara and Kane Williamson share the overseas spot will help this summer. The four-day bowling unit seems to be creaking: Steve Patterson and Tim Bresnan are into their mid-30s, Jack Brooks is looking for his mojo, Adil Rashid has put his red-ball career on ice and Ryan Sidebottom has retired after taking 281 first-class wickets at 21.46 since re-joining Yorkshire in 2011. The onus is on the county’s crop of young talent to follow in the footsteps of 24-year-old Ben Coad, who claimed 50 Championship scalps in his first full season.
And what about a first limited-overs trophy since 2002? The signing of Australia’s towering 23-year-old quick Billy Stanlake for the T20 Blast – bolstering an attack which should also feature Bresnan, David Willey and spin twins Rashid and Azeem Rafiq – will further raise expectations among the ever-demanding White Rose faithful.
IN: Cheteshwar Pujara (Ind), Kane Williamson (NZ), Billy Stanlake (Aus, T20)
OUT: Will Rhodes (Warks), Ryan Sidebottom (retired)
Head coach: Andrew Gale
Jason Gillespie was always going to be a hard act to follow but Gale experienced a challenging first season after making the immediate transition from captain to coach in 2017. He knows better than anyone that he will need to deliver this summer, having spent a 14-year career at Yorkshire – eight of them as skipper – with more than 8,000 first-class runs and 20 centuries. “Andrew’s appointment was a long-term measure,” said director of cricket Martyn Moxon. “The change that needs to happen is the mindset of our players.”