Some say that seven is a lucky number… they must be joking!
My seventh season at the helm of Yorkshire County Cricket Club promised so much but ultimately provided so little. We started both white-ball formats well only to finish bottom and when second or at least third place seemed an almost certainty in the County Championship… we slipped to fifth following the final round of games.
Dennis Brindell (1337) and Sam Cook (67) led the way on the runs and wickets front respectively in First Class cricket. Feroze Khushi, signed from Essex a few seasons ago and having overcome injury problems, starred in the List A games with 356 runs including a maiden professional century. Ed Barnes claimed 12 wickets. In T20s Jon Francis smacked 504 runs while Matthew Waite picked up 18 wickets.
A special mention to Matthew Waite and Matthew Fisher too. The loyal Yorkshireman, both of whom have captained the side during my tenure, each made maiden First Class tons in the same innings… then each recorded a second later in the season for good measure. Both Fisher’s centuries came batting at number nine!
We’d actually started the season with three consecutive victories in the County Championship however following injury to captain Jonny Tattersall, Brett D’Oliveira took time to grow into the role. Grow he did though. We were incredibly unlucky not to win a couple more T20 games than we did and started the One-Day competition well. We registered a few more positive results in the final segment of the County Championship campaign and D’Oliveira performed admirably throughout, making vital contributions with bat and ball. It was clearly all too much for him though… as he promptly retired at the end of the season!
Wicketkeeper Ben Birkhead has also left the club after not quite grasping his opportunities, including a big one this year when Tattersall was absent. Ken Wainwright has also departed. We would’ve loved to provide more opportunities for Ken but theory of numbers and selection consistency just made it impossible. Brett Hutton and Frank Gillet both leave Headingley after not featuring in 2026. In the case of Gillet, we just can’t provide opportunities for an extra fast bowler. We’re playing in England not Australia! 24-year-old off-spinner Andy Kevan, promoted from the youth team at quite a late age, also sets sail following the emergence of Michael Hurst.
Australian international Josh Phillipe joins us as both a batting option for all formats and also a capable gloveman to back-up Tattersall and George Lavelle. We’ll have a smaller squad in 2027 but can afford additional training and physio sessions.