2018 Cricket Season Preview: Yorkshire CCC

Previewing Yorkshire's 2018 season.

2018 Cricket Season Preview: Yorkshire CCC
2018 Cricket Season Preview: Yorkshire CCC

As we continue our county-by-county preview, now is the turn of Yorkshire supporter Ned Holt to take a look at his team's prospects for the upcoming season.

2017 Season

County Championship: Fourth - Division One

Royal London One-Day Cup: Quarter Finals

Natwest T20 Blast: Fifth - North Group

INS: Cheteshwar Pujara, Billy Stanlake (T20 Only), Kane Williamson

OUTS: Shaun Marsh, Will Rhodes, Ryan Sidebottom

Q&A

What are your hopes for the County Championship, Royal London One-Day Cup and Vitality T20 Blast this year?

As a traditional Yorkshire supporter, the Championship will always come first. My heart expects us to be competing. 

The 50 over competition is one we should be in contention for, but we will almost certainly follow the pattern of recent years. In the qualifying rounds we will be impressive, and reach the semi-finals. The ECB will then decimate our squad, and a completely different and substantially weaker side will fail to make the final.

T20 could be interesting. We are massive under-achievers in this, given the number of white ball internationals in the squad, but again availability will be an issue.  There was some progress with the bat last year, Adam Lyth in particular, but in close matches we too often bottled it. Nevertheless, our time may at last have come.

Are you confident that you can bounce back from a somewhat disappointing season last time out?

My head, however, recognises that all those things are highly uncertain, and the bowling is unlikely to be as good as it has been.

The unique Ryan Sidebottom has at last retired, Adil Rashid confirmed the lack of commitment which looked evident last year, and the wonderful seam attack of the Championship years are not getting any younger. Above all, with Rashid missing, we have no spinner of proven championship quality. Ben Coad last year was an unexpected bonus, but Matthew Fisher, who could be his key partner in coming years, seems to have perennial fitness issues.

Overall therefore, I am hopeful, rather than optimistic, that we can recover from last season's disappointments. On the other hand, we're Yorkshire, so we will obviously win the lot!

How excited are you to have three of the best batsmen in the world in Joe Root, Kane Williamson and Cheteshwar Pujara on your books for this season?

The batsmen can't have as bad a year collectively as last year, captain Gary Ballance, who started last year superbly - too superbly as it turned out - is probably a little more distant from the ECB's claws this year, and if we get anything like the time and quality we should expect from Pujara and Williamson, they will obviously add to both totals and the sense of stability so lacking last year.

Having those two and Root (and Jonny Bairstow) looks amazing, but we will see little of our own two, and in recent years even overseas signings have suddenly disappeared.

Are you confident that Billy Stanlake can be a hit in the Vitality T20 Blast?

Billy Stanlake is an unknown quantity, but could be the sort of 'death' bowler the almost equally unknown Mitchell Starc was when he played for us. However there are rumours of fresh Australia activities and it is therefore already unclear how much he will actually be able to play.

Who is your tip for young, up-and-coming player of the season at Yorkshire?

As far as the young players are concerned, Fisher can kick on this year if he stays fit, and I think he will become a genuine all-rounder, not just a bowler.

It will be interesting to see how Coad's second season goes. If one of the young spinners like Karl Carver were to make it, then our prospects would be improved massively.

With the bat, we do not yet know whether signing Tom Kohler-Cadmore is more than a strengthening of the white ball squads. He will hope that he can be more than that. The name that is on supporters' lips in terms of a real quality future though, is England Under 19 captain Harry Brook.