Cricket Captain 2020 – Discount Promo!

Where to start. It’s all to much. This article might not be coherent!

We did it! We gained promotion back to County Championship division two in the most nail-biting fashion. In our final game we lost the toss, conceded 428 and were made to follow-on despite opener Matthew Revis carrying his bat. We set Derbyshire a paltry 127 to win with C Fry claiming 9-83 (!) but reduced them to 89-9 thanks in the main to our spinners. Their final wicket pair then produced the highest partnership of the innings to reach 120-9 when Matt Fisher, who had struck a vital 63 not out from number ten in our second innings, bowed out of professional cricket with the promotion sealing wicket. A full house went wild. There were tears, screams of jubilation and lots of bubbly. We’ll be back in the big time in 2032!

Forget the T20 campaign and we blew a good start in the One-Day competition but it’s top flight First Class cricket for Yorkshire once again. There were lots of contributors with the bat throughout the campaign including a century on debut from 17-year-old gloveman Chris Patrick. Homegrown talent Norman Dobson brought his white-ball skills to the four-day game to lead the way with the red orb. Oh… and batsman and part-time leg-spinner Fred Albright claimed nine wickets in a innings!

In the crucial match against Derbyshire, all-rounder Phillip Morris scored a century that nearly denied us promotion. We’ve had our eye on him for sometime (Because he shares his name with my dad!) so signed him up after the match. We’ve also signed a couple of specialist T20 bowlers (Jason Daniel-WI/Lakmal Sharman-SL) after New Zealander Geoffrey Donald’s horror show. We thought we’d recruited a third (Ranga Wijetinge) but accidentally got him to put pen to paper on a reserve overseas contract not a T20 contract (!) so unless captain Josh Phillipe is away with the Ozzies much, we won’t be seeing a lot of the Sri Lankan all-rounder!

Jordan Thompson, who made some useful contributions but also missed a chunk of the season due to playing in The Hundred, has been released once again as has young batsman Martin Woodcock.

We’ll see you in 2032 for County Championship division one cricket. I’ve rejected offers from Baluchistan amongst others to lead Yorkshire for a thirteenth campaign. My heart is a white rose!

Cricket Captain 2020 – The Year 2030!

In 2030 we celebrated my ten-year tenure by winning only one match in both First Class and List A cricket (Though for the second year running we were involved in a tie!). We did at least win five T20 games but could only finish sixth in our group. Finishing bottom of County Championship division two and once again failing to reach the knockout stages of either white-ball competition for the eleventh year in a row was a disappointment.

On the plus side prolific homegrown batsman Jon Baldwin won long overdue Test recognition. Sadly he slipped out of the picture quite quickly as teammate Dennis Brindell continues to be selected ahead of him despite struggling to adapt to Test level. Michael Hurst continues to perform well for England’s limited overs sides.

Albert Boxall (350 LA runs) and James Wharton (434 T20 runs) performed extremely well whilst Ed Barnes racked up 19 T20 wickets.

Oh, we did score 808 against Kent in the County Championship with our top four batsmen all scoring centuries!

Long serving captain Jonny Tattersall has been released at the age of 35 whilst teenage batsmen Chris Drinkell has also departed following a tough baptism at professional level. Fellow batsman Vic Walton as well as Australian T20 bowler Richard Hunt, who failed to back-up a good first campaign at Headingley, have also headed out the exit doors.

Josh Phillipe will return as our overseas player for a fourth year. Having captained the side in limited overs cricket the Australian will do so in the First Class format. Teenage wicketkeeper Christian Patrick has also joined us and New Zealand pacer Geoffrey Donald has been recruited exclusively for the T20 Blast.

I’ve rejected offers from Sussex and yet another offer from New Zealand to try and put things right in a twelfth season at Headingley!

Cricket Captain 2020 – Season Ten

After losing our opening T20 match, we went on to win five in a row under the leadership of new captain Josh Phillipe. Sadly the poor scheduling that allows the County Championship to interrupt the T20 Blast disrupted our rhythm. We crashed out of the knockout qualifying places following defeat in our last match. In truth our batting unit didn’t set the world on fire. Harry Brook (489 runs) performed superbly though and had a strong season across all formats. However it was our bowling attack who were to a man, excellent. Inexperienced Australian pacer Richard Hunt (28 wickets) led the way.

As normal, there was little to cheer in One-Day cricket. We did feature in a thrilling tie but it was the wooden spoon for us once again. Albert Boxall (234 runs) and Dom Leech (9 wickets) were the better performers but their low numbers confirm what a difficult campaign it was.

In four-day cricket we did okay but were always a little short of making a genuine promotion push. Josh Phillipe totalled 1089 runs but Matthew Fisher (63 wickets) was in phenomenal form throughout the campaign. Opener Matthew Revis continued his improvement and in the final match of the season, played his 100th First Class game. Curiously, he’s only ever played five limited overs games.

Spin-bowler James Logan has surprisingly retired and pace bowler Josh Rippenden has been released. Josh Phillipe will return as overseas player for a third season and Richard Hunt will rejoin us for some Twenty20 action. After a few years away from the professional game, we’ve resigned all-rounder Jordon Thompson, in particular to strengthen our limited bowling stocks.

In 2030 we’d dearly love to make the knockout stages of a white-ball competition or/and get promoted back to division one of the County Championship.

Cricket Captain 2020 – We Left it Late to be Great in Season Eight!

Okay, so ‘great’ might be stretching it, we won only two white-ball games all season and fared little better in the red ball environment… but somehow we retained our place in division one by the skin of our teeth!

As is often the case, we started well, winning our first three County Championship matches. The wheels then not only came off but rolled down the hill and out of sight! Quite how our T20 then One-Day form was so bad, I have no idea. Given the improvements we’d made in recent seasons, it was extremely frustrating. Australian Josh Phillipe was a particular disappointment but to be fair, he fared little worse than anybody else. We finished bottom of our group in both white-ball competitions with just a solitary win in each format.

And so it came down to the final few games of the County Championship. The scorecard above details how young Greg Birch, with only a couple of First Class games to his name, roared to match figures off 11-87 to seemingly preserve our division one status. Sadly we collapsed to just 88 all out in pursuit of only 104 for victory. At this point and following the trauma of such an up and down match, I thought that we’d been relegated by just 16 runs. I then realised that we had one game left and it happened to be a winner takes all relegation play-off against neighbours Derbyshire, who had a 3 (It might’ve been 5) point advantage.

Joe Root was selected for only the second time in half a decade and made 51 returning to his roots as an opener. Matt Fisher (4-79), recalled after taking eleven wickets in a second XI game, restricted the hosts to only a small lead after they’d looked set for a match-defining one. James Wharton, who despite his horror show as white-ball captain had performed well (With bat and ball) in the County Championship, set the tone with 77. Josh Phillipe (50) after a quiet few innings, dug deep as we fought the opposition and the rain. It was Fisher (4-50) again who ripped through Derbyshire second time around to send them down to division two. Having sunk into the relegation zone, we’d looked doomed but a combination of youth and experience had saved us.

The emergence of a number of young pace bowlers, not least the aforementioned Birch, means that we say goodbye to Ben Coad and Sam Cook. The money saved by releasing those players allows us to invest heavily in coaching/physio facilities and crucially youth development. Josh Phillipe will return next year. The Australian played some crucial knocks in First Class cricket but will hope to demonstrate his white-ball prowess more in 2028. 26-year-old off-spinning all-rounder Oliver Price has joined the squad and will hope to make a belated professional debut.

Cricket Captain 2020 – Season Seven

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.

Cricket Captain 2020 – Season Five

Finally, after five seasons in the job, things have started to progress. This season saw a fourth place finish in the County Championship but had we been able to turn a few frustrating draws into wins it could’ve been even better.

At the top of the order the combination of the stoic Matthew Revis and aggressive James Wharton complimented each other well.

Jon Baldwin topped the CC run charts with 1387 including a best of 277. Dennis Brindell came good too. He made four consecutive centuries in the latter stages of the campaign and fell only nineteen runs short of making it five. England Test cap Sam Cook claimed 51 wickets.

In the One-Day competition we finished fifth in our group. After a century in the opening game it was a huge shame that James Wharton missed the rest of the tournament through injury.

Jon Francis accumulated an impressive 547 runs with a best of 151, one of two centuries that he registered. Matthew Fisher, captain for the format in the absence of Jonny Tattersall (Playing in The Hundred) claimed a club best 16 wickets.

Sadly, we only mustered two victories in the T20 format. In an inglorious campaign we were even dismissed for 49!

Fred Albright did chalk up an encouraging 373 runs while Jared Warner made the most of a run in the side to claim 15 wickets.

All in all though, there was much improvement and much to build on.

Experienced duo Adam Lyth and Dawid Malan, neither of whom featured for the first team this season, have left the club. Getting said players off the wage bill has freed up funds for additional coaching and physio sessions.

Australian leg-spinning all-rounder Scott Collins, capped in both ODI/T20I cricket, replaces Rahkeem Cornwall as our overseas players. Sadly Scott will be unavailable initially as he’s been signed to play in the IPL. We’ve also added free agent Ken Wainwright, a batsman, to our squad to provide cover for The Hundred call-ups.

Meanwhile I’ve rejected offers to join both Durham and Otago. My heart lies with Yorkshire!

Cricket Captain 2020 – Fourth Year

Four years into my tenure and still we haven’t added any silverware to the trophy cabinet. I know that the fans are growing frustrated but in 2023 there was some encouraging development of our project.

Once again we retained our County Championship division one status. Selection consistency was a huge part of our progress whilst having sufficient stocks to rotate our bowling attack appropriately. Jon Baldwin developed as so many had hoped by totalling 1220 First Class runs. Sam Cook led the way with 48 wickets to earn the former Essex man an England call-up.

Sadly it was the wooden spoon for us in the One-Day competition. This was despite Harry Brook (271 runs) grabbing a career lifeline and leg-spinning all-rounder Brett D’Oliveira (12 wickets) excelling on his new home turf.

We suffered heartbreak in the T20s as our experienced and youth composite so nearly got us to the knockout stages courtesy of six victories before falling away come crunch time. Again it was Baldwin (360 runs including a score of 99) who led the run-getting while Matthew Waite claimed 18 wickets.

All-rounder Waite captained the One-Day side, shorn as usual of The Hundred players. Wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall stepped into the role for the four-day format and led the side particularly well in Twenty20 cricket.

Sadly Gary Ballance has left us and I’d like to place on record our gratitude to our former skipper who wasn’t able to make a first team appearance this season. Jordan Thompson and Nathan Ellis (Due to lack of funds!) have also left the club.

Our fans will however be hugely excited by the arrival of West Indian icon Rahkeem Cornwall. The off-spinning all-rounder will add a new dimension to our team. We can’t wait to see him take to the Headingley field in 2024. See you then!

Cricket Captain 2020 – Season Three

My third season in charge of my native Yorkshire followed a familiar pattern. We made a reasonable start to the County Championship before plummeting into the relegation zone. Last season’s star performer Nathan Ellis earning international (Australian) recognition didn’t help! We fought back however to stave off relegation and preserve our first division status once again.

We failed to buck the trend in white-ball cricket too. As usual we were stripped of nearly an entire playing XI come the One-Day competition as players sauntered off to The Hundred. We made an horrific start and genuinely looked like we’d struggle to win a single game. We did however as a number of young players displayed glimpses of quality and even hinted at consistency. Sadly though, we finished bottom of our group.

It was a similar story in the T20 format where, despite a few wins, we were left to dine using a wooden spoon!

Despite our white-ball travails, there were some hugely encouraging signs of progress from a number of our less experienced players. Our batting unit isn’t getting any younger (Lyth, Ballance, Malan) but we’ve already begun the transition phase and I’m confident that some players (Jon Baldwin & Jon Francis among them) can really push on next season.

Among this season’s highlights were match figures of 10-169 for rejuvenated off-spinner Jack Shutt who also notched a maiden First Class ton. All-rounder Ed Barnes scored a second County Championship century and claimed a maiden five-wicket haul in the same game while opener James Wharton produced a knock of 135 in a One-Day game.

We had to make some really tough decisions at the end of the season and I’m sorry to say that the following players have not had their contracts renewed: Will Fraine, Tom Loten, Adil Rashid, David Willey, Duanne Olivier, Matthew Pillans and Josh Poysden

We have however recruited Feroze Khushi, Sam Cook, Brett Hutton and Brett D’Oliveira who bring a strong skillset to compliment what we already have. Roll on 2023!

Cricket Captain 2020 – Second Season Review

After a bright start in the County Championship we lost our way but once again dug deep in the final weeks of the season to fend off relegation. In the penultimate match of the campaign captain Gary Ballance (327) and bowling spearhead Ben Coad (Match figures: 9-86) all but secured our top flight status. Ballance (1430) topped the First Class competition run charts whilst Coad totalled 48 wickets.

Sadly we finished second last in the One-Day competition. With many players participating in The Hundred, a number of youngsters gained great experience including winning two matches and also thrillingly being involved in a tie. Teenager Jon Baldwin (101) registered a List A ton, Tom Loten racked up 301 runs in the competition while Matthew Waite (15 wickets) set the standard with the ball when captaining the side.

Despite winning five matches we placed last in the T20 tournament. For the second season running Matt Coles (21 wickets) excelled in the shortest form of the game but frustratingly retired at the end of the season.

Australian Nathan Ellis wasn’t our first choice signature before last season but grew into his role. The 27-year-old produced consistently excellent performances with bat and ball in all formats to become a firm favourite with the Yorkshire fans. So much so that we’ve burst the bank to keep him with his salary rising from 27k to 81k!

It’s with a heavy heart that Jonny Bairstow has left the club. The combination of salary/lack of availability just didn’t add up. George Lavelle joins from Lancashire to compete for wicketkeeping duties.

We’ll see you in 2022!

Cricket Captain 2020 – Season Review

After commencing the County Championship with a comprehensive win, we struggled to clinch more victories. Our batting was generally strong but a little slow and it was often when attempting to up the tempo and push for victory that we opened the door for our visitors to snatch the result away from us. Our bowlers struggled a little in the first half of the campaign too.

We won two out of our last three matches however to preserve our division one status. Off-spinner Jack Shutt (6-50) bowled us to victory against neighbours Lancashire and then made 44 not out alongside wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall (84*) to see us over the line against Hampshire when under huge pressure. Despite losing against Surrey in our final game, we survived!

The less said about our One-Day campaign the better. We were without as many as ten players due to England call-ups/franchise gigs but many of our youngsters gained experience. Teenage opener James Wharton (146) did at least register a maiden century while signing Matt Coles excelled when bowling at the death.

Though our T20 campaign was also ultimately fruitless, we did improve as the competition went on. Matthew Waite was a revelation with the ball.

Adam Lyth finished the County Championship with a competition topping 1573 runs including a top score of 199*. Jack Shutt’s aforementioned 6-50 against Lancashire was our best bowling effort whilst Ben Coad concluded the season well to top the club charts with 40 wickets.

Opener Will Fraine seized his opportunity due to numerous injuries/absences to clock up 380 runs in the fifty-over format. Matt Coles claimed a club best 12 wickets with a best of 6-36.

In the T20 format Tom Kohler-Cadmore registered an impressive 440 runs (And would earn an England ODI call-up) meanwhile Dawid Malan found form to make a high score of 110. Again Matt Coles excelled in white-ball cricket (That’s why we bought him!), claiming best figures of 5-22 but the effective Matthew Waite topped the club efforts with 15 wickets.

First Class captain Steven Patterson has retired and frustratingly talks with Toby Roland-Jones broke down. He opted to make the short move from Middlesex to Surrey instead. We would’ve like to have signed Chris Rushworth from northern neighbours Durham or re-sign Ben Sanderson but whilst we were failing to negotiate with Roland-Jones those players signed elsewhere. Jamie Overton was another who slipped by. 26-year-old Australia Nathan Ellis will therefore join us for 2021.