Yorkshire CCC set for Roses warm-up against Lancashire CCC at Headingley

Yorkshire’s players can expect to play some pre-season friendlies before the end of July, says Martyn Moxon. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Yorkshire have announced that they are to play Lancashire in a two-day red-ball friendly on Friday/Saturday July 24/25.

It will be the first cricket at the ground for over 10 months.

The game will be played behind closed doors and streamed exclusively to Yorkshire and Lancashire members.

GETTING READY: Yorkshire CCC director of cricket, Martyn Moxon. Picture By Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Mark Arthur, the Yorkshire chief executive, said: “We are thrilled to have been able to arrange this fixture with Lancashire.

“Although the match will be played behind closed doors, both clubs are keen that its members have access to fantastic coverage of the match as a thank you for their loyalty during these difficult times.”

The news comes as Arthur and his fellow county chief executives thrash out a revised county schedule with the England and Wales Cricket Board.

It is hoped that the season will start on August 1 meaning time is tight in terms of preparation.

FINFERS CROSSED: Behind-closed-doors cricket will return to Headingley in July with a Roses two-day pre-season fixture. Picture by Ash Allen/SWpix.com

Surrey and Middlesex were the first counties to confirm a behind-closed-doors friendly when they announced on Wednesday that they will go head-to-head in a two-day game at the Oval from July 26.

Now Yorkshire have followed suit, much to the satisfaction of director of cricket Martyn Moxon.

“I think it’s important to have them (practice games) because we’re only going to have a five-game series of four-day matches at best,” he said.

“You don’t want to be waiting until the third game, or whatever, before you start hitting your straps.

“On a pre-season tour, you often play a two-day game to make sure that the bowlers are in the field for a full day to get some overs in their legs and time on their feet.

“That’s going to be the biggest challenge (getting the bowlers up to speed) and it’s also important in terms of preventing injuries.”

There has been some confusion around the revised county schedule, with some clubs reportedly wanting only white-ball cricket to save on hotel stays.

Teams could travel to games there-and-back in a day in a regionalised T20 and 50-over tournament, although Moxon said that most clubs want four-day and T20.

“I think there’s an overwhelming majority of coaches who want to play four-day cricket,” he said. “I think there’s a majority of counties that do.

“We just need clearance from the government now. As long as that is in place, there’s a desire to play it and hopefully we will.”

Ahead of a vote by the county chairmen on July 7, the Plan A option remains for clubs to play five four-day games in three groups of six alongside a similarly regionalised T20 Blast featuring 10 games per side.

“It’s not a perfect situation, but at the end of the day I think everyone’s keen to get some cricket,” added Moxon.

“I think everyone’s keen to play as much as we can during that period.

“We’ve only got four weeks to prepare, so it’s important that we use them as best we can.

“Our lads return to training on a staggered basis from Monday – initially in one-to-one sessions with a coach – and it will be a gradual build-up from there.”

Yorkshire Evening Post