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Yorkshire all right to prosper in Champions League t20 event
Phil Jaques has backed Yorkshire to make a significant impression on next month’s Champions League t20 event in South Africa.
The White Rose county will turn their attentions to preparing for the competition once the County Championship campaign concludes at Essex this week, hopefully with promotion back to division one safely secured.
Jaques, named yesterday in their 15-man squad for the trip, will travel back to Australia this weekend for approximately a fortnight.
Like the rest of the Yorkshire squad, he will have a week’s rest before training on his own and playing some grade cricket in Sydney.
The significant news from the naming of the squad is that Tim Bresnan has been omitted on England orders, while Rich Pyrah misses out due to his broken hand. Fast bowler Oliver Hannon-Dalby will travel, but Anthony McGrath has been left out.
Yorkshire open their qualifying account with a match against Sri Lanka’s Uva Next on October 9 before facing Trinidad and Tobago from the West Indies the following day. One of the three teams will qualify for the subsequent main draw.
“It will be a great experience for this group of guys, both young and old, to test themselves on the world stage,” said Jaques, the opening batsman.
“I think we thoroughly deserve to be there because we’ve been one of the best sides all year in Twenty20. We proved that in the semi-final against a really good Sussex side (at Cardiff).
“We weren’t quite good enough against Hampshire in the final, but it’s there for all to see how good a Twenty20 side we can be. If we play a similar sort of cricket, we'll give the Champions League a good run for its money.”
There are still a couple of issues to be ironed out regarding player availability for the Champions League.
If England progress to the final of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka on October 7, it will leave wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow with a race against time to make it to Johannesburg for Yorkshire’s opening fixture, bringing Dan Hodgson into the equation.
Overseas star David Miller’s availability has yet to be confirmed completely due to his commitments with the Dolphins in South Africa’s domestic four-day competition.
As things stand, he is only definitely available to face Uva Next because the Dolphins begin a four-day match less than 24 hours after Yorkshire’s clash with T&T on October 10.
Jaques, meanwhile, says Yorkshire will not be changing their philosophy of playing attacking cricket this week despite knowing a draw against Essex at Chelmsford could be good enough to seal promotion.
Yorkshire go into today’s final match of the season at Chelmsford five points clear of third placed Kent and only one point behind leaders Derbyshire.
Jaques added: “We’ve decided what sort of cricket we want to play this year, and that means we'll be playing it the same all the way through. We’ll play positively and back our ability to win.”
Yorkshire’s CLt20 15-man squad: Gale, Ashraf, Bairstow, Ballance, Hannon-Dalby, Hodgson, Jaques, Lyth, Miller, Rafiq, Rashid, Root, Patterson, Sidebottom, Wardlaw.