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Bowler Jack Brooks in full flow for Yorkshire and Test success
After revealing that Yorkshire came top of his pros and cons list when deciding to leave Northamptonshire, new signing Jack Brooks is confident the club can challenge to head the most important list of all in county cricket next summer.
The England Lions fast bowler was not short of options when he made his intentions to leave Wantage Road clear midway through last summer.
Along with Middlesex-bound James Harris, he was one of the most sought after players in county cricket during the early stages of the close season in September.
He has arrived at Headingley with a number of goals.
One is to make the step up to international cricket, and another is to help the White Rose side win the LV= County Championship title.
“I think we’ve got a great shout this season,” said the 28-year-old from Oxford.
“It’s a very competitive league, a tough one to win. But you only have to look at the options that we have in our squad to know that we’ve got every chance.
“There’s a great balance of youth, experience, proven internationals and guys like myself and Liam Plunkett who have joined and have to prove ourselves.
“Every team will probably say that about themselves. There are some very strong sides in division one, and it’s up to other people to decide who are favourites.
“I know from speaking to the lads that everybody’s pretty confident of being in with a chance of winning a trophy in the next year or two.”
Brooks had been on Yorkshire’s wanted list for some time, with director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon scouting him during the 2011 summer.
And their patience with a player who was still playing village cricket at the age of 20 has now paid off.
“I was looking to leave Northants during last summer, but I literally had no idea where I was going to end up,” he said.
“I think in the end there was possibly a dozen counties who definitely showed interest. I whittled that down to five or six.
“Then it came down to a straight choice between the last couple. I ended up having to do a list of pros and cons, and there were so many pros with Yorkshire.
“There was interest there from Yorkshire and a few teams at the end of the season before, but I just felt that it would be best for my cricket if I led the attack at Northants for another year, especially having just got in the England Lions set-up.
“But the season didn’t go so well. Northants struggled to win games, my performances weren’t so great and injuries crept in probably because I over bowled.
“I was just looking for a fresh challenge really. I don’t think there’s any bigger challenges out there than playing for Yorkshire, especially as a non-Yorkshireman.
“They are clearly the most decorated county in England and the best supported. Getting the opportunity to play my cricket at a Test ground was another big draw.”
Brooks, who did not play in either match against Yorkshire, took 23 wickets at 35.69 in ten Championship matches in 2012. He has taken a total of 118 in 37 first-class matches during his career.