Yorkshire at 150: Pre-season tour vital to Cup triumph

Yorkshire skipper Phil Carrick hoists alofts the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1987, much to the delight of Martyn Moxon (centre).
Yorkshire skipper Phil Carrick hoists alofts the Benson and Hedges Cup in 1987, much to the delight of Martyn Moxon (centre).
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MARTYN Moxon believes one of the key ingredients to Yorkshire’s 1987 Benson and Hedges Cup success was the fact they prepared properly for the first time in pre-season.

The players warmed up by travelling to the Caribbean, where the seeds were sewn of a strong team spirit.

“As I recall, it was the first time Yorkshire had ever gone to Barbados on a pre-season tour,” said Moxon. “We got our preparations right and created a great camaraderie within the side. That got the campaign off to a flyer and we gained a lot of early confidence. We did well in the B&H, but also in the Championship and it proved the value of a pre-season tour.”

Moxon, the club’s second highest run-scorer in the B&H that summer, played several splendid innings – notably a knock of 97 in the semi-final against Surrey at Leeds.

It helped Yorkshire to 238-7 and a 76-run victory and earned him the gold award.

“That semi-final seemed to last forever,” remembered Moxon. “It was dogged by the weather and played over three days. It was a bit like pulling teeth to be honest.”

Yorkshire lost the toss and were given a stiff examination by West Indian fast bowler Sylvester Clarke.

“The ball was nipping around and it was quite tough for batting,” said Moxon. “It was a bit of a challenge to start with, but I managed to get through the new ball and build a good innings. I was disappointed not to get a hundred, but I’d like to think it was a valuable contribution.

“We bowled and fielded well and won the game comfortably.”

Moxon has fond memories of the final against Northamptonshire, which Yorkshire won by virtue of losing fewer wickets.

“The weather was fantastic, it was a beautiful day, and it was one of those wins I’ll always cherish,” he said.