By Joe Hewlett
Yorkshire CCC are currently training in preparation of their opening game against Hampshire CCC commencing April 7.
The 2015 Specsavers County Championship winners have that Club captain Gary Balance has signed a new two-year extension. The Zimbabwe born batsmen will now remain with the White Roses until end of the 2019 season.
Jonny Bairstow and newly appointed England Test captain Joe Root will both be unavailable for the opening two fixtures. The issue of player unavailability continues to be a stumbling block for all County Clubs around England and Wales.
But the pair will be available for the third Championship fixture against Hampshire at the Rose Ball. Followed by a selection of fixtures in the Royal London Cup before the upcoming Champions Trophy tournament.
However, Yorkshire’s international signing Peter Handscombe will be in contention to start the first game of the season. The Australian cricketer is a middle order batsmen and stands in for Matthew Wade wicketkeeper for the national side.
The 25-year-old Victoria and Melbourne Stars player has signed a deal to perform in all three formats for the side.
After a career spanning two decades in the sport, Ryan Sidebottom will be calling it quits at the end of the 2017 season. The left-arm seamer will be hoping he can add to his mantel piece of four Championship titles.
England will also be staging games at Headingley featuring a Test Match against West Indies and an ODI with South Africa.
Chris Parkinson, Club ticket officer has revealed there has been an increase in ticket sales for membership deals. He believes the clubs recent success has played a pivotal part to growing the teams fanbase.
He told Yorkshire Voice: “Ticket sales have been really good again this year, we’ve increased again on memberships following season after winning the Championship in 2014, 2015 and coming so close last year. We’re all heading in the right direction with T20 memberships also on the up.
“It’s a massive boost to have international cricket there, it gives an opportunity for people in and around the area to see the stars of English cricket and International cricket all over the world coming to Headingley for the day. It’s a great day out for people in a packed out stadium.”