Yorkshire, as a club, are back to their very best, and the future is looking bright for them once again.
Their success in capturing their 31st Championship trophy has ensured recognition for their squad as they are all-set for a busy period after no fewer than seven of their Championship winning side were selected for various England winter touring parties.
Joe Root, as expected, has been named in the England ODI squad for the seven-match tour of Sri Lanka. I don’t expect the squad that will travel to Sri Lanka to be much different to the one which will represent England at the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in February and March with Root a leading figure in the team.
Barring injury Root looks a certainty to make the final squad and will hopefully continue his fantastic form from this season. He is improving all the time and some pundits are tipping either Root or Eoin Morgan to succeed Alastair Cook as England ODI captain.
The ECB have also named two separate Performance Programme squads for their pre-Christmas itinerary which will see many of Root's team-mates also involved. The 19 players selected will attend the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough
before being separated.
The batsmen and spin bowlers, who England see as either fringe players or promising players for the future, are set to also visit Sri Lanka. Yorkshire are well represented on this tour. Jonny Bairstow, recently cast aside by England in the Test arena, is rewarded with a place on the tour as are formidable opening partners Adam Lyth and Alex Lees.
Both Lyth and Lees have had a fantastic season for the White Rose county and are regarded as one of the main reasons why Yorkshire ended their 13 year wait for the Championship title. Both could well be opening for England in the future.
Another player who has impressed is Adil Rashid and he is rewarded with a place on the
Performance Programme. Rashid has been recognised by England before but only recently has he begun to perform at his very best again and England know that leg-spin is something that they need to encourage and develop. His variation moving forward could be crucial if he maintains this season's form.
The fast bowlers will embark on their own training camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa
and once again Yorkshire are heavily represented. Jack Brooks has had a wonderful summer leading Yorkshire's attack, taking 68 wickets, and has rightfully earned a place on the Programme.
Team-mate Liam Plunkett has also been selected after having a very frustrating season. The former Durham paceman started the season in brilliant fashion which led to an England Test call-up. After impressing in an England shirt Plunkett's season was then blighted by injury leading to him being absent for the second half of the season. However,
with his recovery well on track he will be keen to return to his early season form.
Once the Performance Programme has ended England will then name their Lions squad for their tour of South Africa early in 2015. I expect Yorkshire to be well represented on this tour.
Whilst these players are in the limelight this winter let's not forget Gary Ballance who has enjoyed a fantastic summer batting at number three for England and looks to have cemented his Test spot at least for the foreseeable future. England do not have any Test matches until after the World Cup so Ballance will have to bide his time before he puts on an England shirt once again.
Unfortunately England do not see him, at present, as part of their ODI team but I am sure his talents will lead to him making the grade in this format of the game as well.
Yorkshire are in a strong position at the moment and I, for one, would not back against them achieving more success both as a collective, and individually, over the next few years.
Yorkshire's contribution to England's winter programme;
England ODI squad for Sri Lanka tour
England Performance Programme
Batting and Spin Camp in Sri Lanka
Fast Bowlers Camp in Potchefstroom, South Africa
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