Yorkshire boast bowling riches

First published in Sport by

Moin Ashraf fully expects Jason Gillespie and Andrew Gale to have a number of selection dilemmas when it comes to picking Yorkshire’s bowling attack next season.

New signings Jack Brooks and Liam Plunkett have joined Ashraf, Ryan Sidebottom, Steve Patterson, Iain Wardlaw and Oliver Hannon-Dalby to leave the county’s fast bowling department well stocked.

The likelihood is that Yorkshire will start the 2013 campaign against Sussex at Headingley on April 10 with three specialist quicks, a spinner and either Rich Pyrah or Anthony McGrath – if he signs a new contract – as the fourth seamer.

There will therefore be a number of disappointed players, who will have to use second-team matches and the two friendlies against Lancashire and Leeds/Bradford MCCU to press their claims.

“Competition for places is always good for the squad and for the management as well,” said 20-year-old Ashraf.

“We had plenty of quality in the squad even before Liam and Jack came in, and obviously they will only enhance that.

“Hopefully they’ll (the management) have a real selection headache next year in terms of who to play, and it also gives them plenty of options when it comes down to squad rotation during a long season.”

Ashraf enjoyed an encouraging 2012 campaign by taking 46 wickets in 35 matches across all competitions.

But, having recovered from the hamstring injury which forced him out of the latter stages of Yorkshire’s Champions League t20 campaign in October, he is determined not to rest on his laurels and aims to work hard to improve during pre-season.

It is exactly the same principle for the squad too after LV= County Championship promotion and their excellent performances in Twenty20.

He added: “I’m definitely determined to build on the foundations I laid during the summer, which I’m sure is the same for the whole squad.

“We’ve just had a really good year, but that doesn’t count for anything going into next season. Everyone starts afresh.

“As a team we’ve got that one goal and motivation, which is to get to the top and stay there for a long time.

“All we can do is work hard enough to make sure that we play at our best. If we do that, we’re confident of having success.”

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