THURSDAY POLL: Bresnan believes ‘double’ is realistic target for Yorkshire

Yorkshire's Tim Bresnan celebrates the wicket of Sussex's Luke Wright. (Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)
Yorkshire's Tim Bresnan celebrates the wicket of Sussex's Luke Wright. (Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)
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TIM BRESNAN was sat in the stands when Yorkshire last won a trophy in 2002.

He had been playing for England Under-19s in a one-day series against India and popped over to Lord’s to see his county team-mates lift the old Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy.

Bresnan, then aged just 17, appeared in an earlier stage of that year’s competition but did not feature at headquarters as Yorkshire had their England players back.

As the club today look to move a step closer to their first Lord’s final since then when they take on Durham in the Royal London Cup quarter-final at Headingley, the pace bowler hopes he can finally win with Yorkshire on the famous London stage.

“I did play in the C&G back in 2002 but not in the final itself, so, through default really, I have a C&G winner’s medal,” said Bresnan.

“I’d been playing for the Under-19s and we drove over to Lord’s and sat in the stands, so it would be great this year to go all the way and, from a personal point of view, play in the final.

“It was a bit weird having played earlier in that C&G competition and missing out on the end, but the England boys were recalled – the likes of Matthew Hoggard, Chris Silverwood and Michael Vaughan.

“We also had Matthew Elliot and Anthony McGrath playing, a really good side, and a lot of guys who had played a lot of cricket for Yorkshire.”

The team is somewhat younger now; at 29, Bresnan almost qualifies for a pipe and carpet slippers as one of the most experienced hands.

He also believes comparisons between that side and that of now are futile.

“You can’t really compare that side with this one,” he said. “You can’t compare the eras.

“The team back then was full of old, experienced heads, but if you look at this team and take out the likes of myself, Andrew Gale and Jack Brooks, there’s a lot of 22, 23-year-olds.

“We’ve got some terrific young players and there’s no reason why we can’t emulate what Yorkshire did in 2002.”

Not just emulate it, indeed, but win the County Championship, too.

With Yorkshire leading the Championship by six points with three games left, the “double” is an eminently feasible goal.

“It’s a realistic target,” said Bresnan. “We’re still in the mix and, in some ways, it’s ours to mess up.

“If we keep on playing the same cricket we’ve been playing in both competitions, I can’t see us going very far wrong.”

It would put the gloss on Bresnan’s county career if Yorkshire could win a trophy to which he personally felt he had significantly contributed.

He could certainly say that if Yorkshire go on to win either or both competitions, having been a consistent performer throughout the season, and he senses the excitement surrounding the club.

“This is a great opportunity,” he said.

“We’re in the mix for two competitions, and to win a trophy, or two trophies, would not just put the gloss on my career, but it would be nice for a lot of those lads in the changing room to finally win something.

“We’ve got such an exciting end to the season and it’s all to play for.

“These are the crunch times in your career that you want to be playing and it’s great to be part of it.”

Yorkshire are desperate to get over the line in at least one tournament this year, having gone the longest of the 18 counties without winning anything – all the way back to that 2002 C&G final, when they beat Somerset by six wickets.

One senses they are getting ever closer; in the past two years, they have finished runners-up in both divisions of the Championship and also reached the final of the Twenty20 Cup.

“We’ve come close so many times and it would be nice to see it through this year,” said Bresnan.

“Especially in the Championship, because we’re in a great position at the moment.

“The game coming up against Notts (who are second) promises to be vital, but every other game is, too.

“To finish on a high, I would have thought we need to win at least two of our last three Championship games.

“Nottinghamshire will be pushing for results in their last three games, so we need to do the same.”

Yorkshire welcome back Gary Ballance for today’s fixture, which starts at 10.30am, with a reserve day set aside for bad weather.

The England batsman has been released after missing out on selection for yesterday’s one-day international against India in Cardiff and will rejoin the national squad at the weekend.

Yorkshire (from): Lyth, Lees, Williamson, Ballance, Gale (capt), Bairstow, Rashid, Bresnan, Pyrah, Patterson, Brooks, Leaning, Fisher, Hodd.