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Yorkshire County Cricket Club celebrate 150th birthday
Yorkshire County Cricket Club celebrate their 150th birthday today.
Formed on January 8, 1863 at the Adelphi Hotel in Sheffield, the club have gone on to become outright county champions on a record 30 occasions, as well as winning five one-day trophies.
The county will hold a Sesquicentennial Soiree at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre tonight, the original location of the Adelphi.
Speakers will include current players Steve Patterson and Ben Coad, an Academy fast bowler, while the evening will also see President Geoffrey Boycott and fellow former England captain Michael Vaughan conduct a question and answer session.
Another speaker will be former York Press Yorkshire correspondent David Warner, the author of The Sweetest Rose, 150 years of Yorkshire CCC.
Warner, who has reported on the White Rose since 1975, spent three years researching and writing the book prior to it being published in November of last year.
“I made a point of referring exclusively to my own notes from starting in 1975 right up to my final season in 2007,” he explained.
“I wanted to make sure that in taking readers through the controversial years of the Boycott and Illingworth sagas, I was not influenced by the opinions of others.
“I worked from well over 80 volumes of newspaper cuttings which I had collected over 33 seasons of watching Yorkshire home and away.
“Some readers have already said they have learned things about Yorkshire they did not previously know.
“For my own part, I was particularly pleased to learn from former club treasurer and chairman Michael Crawford, who died last month aged 92, that he had turned down the chance to captain Yorkshire in 1958 because of business commitments.
“The job, of course, went to Ronnie Burnet, who led them to the Championship title in 1959, the beginning of a golden era that lasted throughout the 1960s.”
Although matches were played by a Yorkshire team as early as 1833, it was only some 30 years later that Yorkshire CCC was born.
The first of 33 captains was all-rounder Roger Iddison, a man who also played for Roses rivals Lancashire.
Iddison, a butcher from Bedale, even played a three-day match for Lancashire one week and Yorkshire the next in July, 1965. In 1967, he scored half-centuries for both counties just under two months apart.
“Can you imagine me doing that? With my track record with Lancashire, I don’t think they’d have me,” joked current Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale.
“I’d probably never be able to walk down a street in Yorkshire again if I did anything like that.
“You read David Warner’s book and you can cringe at some of the stuff that went on. But there’s also lots of really special stuff that’s gone on in our history.
“You look at the team of the ’60s who won the Championship seven out of ten seasons, and that’s amazing. If the current team have half that success, I’m sure we'd go down as legends.”
It is no secret that Gale is desperate to cap this of all years with the White Rose’s first Championship title since 2001.
And he added: “To see some of the greats that have gone before us and the success they’ve had, to captain the side in the 150th year is a great privilege. But also to be in division one and have the chance to win the Championship is a big thing for us.
“If there was ever a fairytale story, this is the chance for it. There’s some really great events with past players this year, which will be special occasions. Hopefully we can back it up on the field.”