Yorkshire have the wind behind them despite absence of Gale
Table-toppers Yorkshire have been dealt with a double blow that skipper Andrew Gale is suspended and overseas player Kane Williamson is unavailable for their last two fixtures of the County Championship Division One season.
However, they know that victory over closest challengers Nottinghamshire (26 points behind) on Tuesday, September 9th will secure them the trophy for the first time since 2001, when David Byas was captain.
Luckily for Yorkshire, they have more than adequate replacements for Gale and Williamson, in new England stars Gary Ballance and Joe Root, who will lead the side out away at Trent Bridge. On top of that, Tim Bresnan and Jonny Bairstow are available, as well as potentially future international player and opener Alex Lees.
Root, who comes into this game on the back of smashing a hundred for England’s ODI side in the victory in their 3-1 loss to India, is 7/2 to top score for the most famous cricket county in the first innings. Ballance, Bairstow and Lees, meanwhile are 9/2, 7/2 and 11/2 respectively in the same market.
Nottinghamshire can rely on the likes of Alex Hales (3/1), Michael Lumb (7/2) and James Taylor (4/1) to score.
Yorkshire are odds-on favourites both to win this match at 8/11, and 1/8 for the Championship. Nottinghamshire are 11/10 and 5/1 to shock former Australia bowler Jason Gillespie’s side.
Gale spoke ahead of the game, but was understandably disappointed at being unable to guide his team. “Not to be leading the side out for the next few weeks is disappointing, but I’m backing the lads to get the job done,” he said.
“Last week I was devastated when I found out the news when I came off the field. It obviously took the gloss of what was a fantastic [innings] win in the Roses game [over arch-rivals Lancashire].
“You work your entire career towards a goal, you want to go down as the captain to lead Yorkshire to the Championship. To not be able to do that is disappointing.
“But we have got tremendous belief in our squad in the minute, whether I’m in the team or not. I’m back the lads to do it.”
Yorkshire certainly have the belief and history to add another Championship to their 30 honours. They boast the likes of former players and legends of the game Len Hutton, Fred Trueman, Brian Close, Geoffrey Boycott, Ray Illingworth, Dickie Bird, Darren Gough and Michael Vaughan.
It’s now time for current players such as Root, Ballance, Ryan Sidebottom, Adil Rashid and Bresnan to step on their shoes.