jOE ROOT has admitted it is high time Yorkshire won something.
The England batsman believes they have gone too long without winning a trophy.
Yorkshire are the only first-class county who have not won a league or a cup since 2002.
It is a record Root acknowledges they must rectify.
“It’s been too long for a big club like Yorkshire to not get silverware,” he said. “We haven’t won a trophy for a long time now.
“There’s a lot of hungry lads in that dressing room, and we want to make sure that we come away this summer with some sort of silverware.
“I genuinely think we’ve got a great chance.”
The County Championship remains the club’s priority, a competition they have won only once since 1968.
But there is also the new 50-Over Cup to play for and the T20 Blast, and Yorkshire have reached a stage where any pot would do.
“The Championship would be the icing on the cake,” said Root. “But we know it’s going to take a lot of hard work.
“We’re going to have to play some really good cricket because there’s a lot of good teams about.
“We’re going to have to play really well to win the tournament this year.”
Yorkshire’s outstanding performance in last summer’s competition owed much to Root, even though he played only two matches.
It was his match-winning 182 against eventual champions Durham at Chester-le-Street in April that really kick-started Yorkshire’s summer, an innings he followed in the next game with a career-best 236 in an innings victory over Derbyshire.
The 23-year-old hopes to give similar impetus to this year’s challenge, but will have to wait to grasp his opportunity.
Root is still out with a broken thumb sustained during the one-day international series in the West Indies, but hopes to be back for the Championship match against Middlesex at Lord’s starting on Sunday.
“Hopefully I can make an important contribution when I get back to action and, hopefully, we can get some early momentum,” he said. “That’s going to be important and, if we’re successful, I think we’ll be a really hard side to break down and we should be up there come the end of the season.
“We’ve got a really strong squad, right down to the Academy, and that’s going to stand us in good stead.
“It’s an exciting time for the club in general and really exciting to be a part of it.”
Root is not the only member of Yorkshire’s England contingent currently sidelined.
Jonny Bairstow broke his left ring finger during Yorkshire’s three-day practice game in Northampton at the beginning of the month and could miss up to the first six weeks of the season in a worst-case scenario.
It is a big blow to the 24-year-old, who had started the campaign with 123 against Leeds-Bradford MCCU and an accomplished wicketkeeping performance.
It means he would have only a few weeks to impress the England selectors ahead of the first Test of the summer against Sri Lanka at Lord’s on June 12, only a limited window of opportunity to enhance his claims of retaining his Test place.
Root is also fighting hard to become a fixture at Test level.
The question is not so much whether he will play for England this summer, but where he will bat.
In his brief Test career, Root has batted pretty much everywhere. But arguments rage as to his best position.
Chris Rogers, the Australia opening batsman, had his say on the matter the other day when he contended that Root should not open for England.
Rogers believes his Middlesex team-mate Sam Robson is more suited to the role, with Robson enhancing his claims with 163 and 41 not out against Nottinghamshire at Lord’s last week.
“I don’t particularly think Joe Root’s an opener,” said Rogers. “He plays spin well and he’s better suited to the middle order.”
However, Yorkshire first-team coach Jason Gillespie strongly disagrees. The former Australia fast bowler reiterated his view that Root is the man to open with Alastair Cook.
“I respectfully disagree with Chris, Joe Root is a fantastic opening batsman,” said Gillespie.
“Joe has performed very well in that opening role for both Yorkshire and England, but the beauty about him is he’s a very adaptable cricketer; he can pretty much bat anywhere and has done that in his Test career so far.
“In part, he probably hasn’t been as consistent as he would have liked, but he has been moved around and batted in a number of positions, whereas other players have just been locked in to certain spots.
“I think he can open, and be equally adaptable in the middle order, and the point is he’s a very important part of England’s future and I’m looking forward to seeing him have a long and fruitful career for his country.”