ALTHOUGH I have been gutted at not being able to play in Yorkshire’s last two games of the season, no-one will ever be able to take away the fact of taking Yorkshire to the County Championship title.
That will always be in the history books and I will die a happy man for that, I am sure. It is a great feeling.
It is only the second time in 40-odd years that we have won it and that shows how hard it is.
For Yorkshire to win the County Championship and to take part in the scenes afterwards has been fantastic. Yes, I was gutted not to lift the trophy, but it was great to see the lads get the job done on the pitch.
I thought we performed outstandingly well under pressure and to get the job done in the fashion we did, showed how ruthless we have been all year.
It was a great day really, for the players and everyone involved with Yorkshire cricket.
It was a long day’s drinking on Friday! We had finished from half past eleven to quarter to twelve, so the champagne and beer started flowing from midday.
It was a moment you just wanted to bottle up in the dressing room and keep forever.
The lads were buzzing and after a while, the staff and families came into the dressing room at Trent Bridge and there was a party atmosphere and everyone at the club felt part of it.
When you work so hard for something, not just this year, but over a number of years this group of players have been together, it makes winning it so sweet.
You dream about winning Championships and stuff and when you eventually do it after working really hard for something made it a fantastic feeling and there was a great sense of achievement.
I actually woke up on Saturday morning all right and I was still running on adrenalin. But when it got to one o’clock, I started to dip down a little bit, I must say!
The support I have had, just walking around Leeds and people shaking my hand and staff, has been fantastic. Everywhere you go, you can forget how big Yorkshire cricket is and the brand it is.
I have really got a sense of how special Yorkshire cricket is when you win something like this.
This week saw Rich Pyrah awarded a benefit year by the county and it is really good news for Rich because he is one of the real unsung heroes for Yorkshire cricket.
He is not one for complaining, even though he has had it tough being in and out of the team in the last few years.
But he has been one of the first names on the teamsheet in one-day matches and Twenty20 and to be rewarded with a benefit shows how the club and supporters appreciate him.
I am sure everyone will get behind his benefit year next year.
Alex Lees has also had a good week, winning the LV= Breakthrough Young Player award of 2014. It rounds off a great season.
That opening stand of Lyth and Lees has been one of the stories of the season.
It was always going to be tough for Alex, with it being his second season when people can find you out. It was how he went about his business and Alex is a true professional and a great guy to have around the dressing room.
I really think Alex can go as far as he wants in the game.
We finish our season next week with a home game against Somerset at Headingley and the key is getting the lads switched on again for the last game.
We may have won the title, but it is still a game we want to win and we want to keep our record going.
I am sure there will be a lot of buzz and a carnival atmosphere around Headingley and it is only fair that the lads put on a good performance in as well to round off the season in style.
Obviously, there has been a bit of attention for Durham’s Chris Rushworth after his incredible haul of 15 wickets against Northamptonshire in the County Championship.
I have played against Rushy since I was a young lad and he came through the academies at the same time as me and he was actually released by Durham for a short while before him doing well in league cricket and being brought back.
Over the last few years, he has been one of Durham’s best performers.
He has not got express pace, but what he has got is great skills with the ball – both swing and seam.
You have always got to be on your guard against him.
He does not give you many balls to hit when you play against him.
***Our exclusive Andrew Gale column is in association with Blacks Solicitors***