THAT Jonny Bairstow has been acclaimed as one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the year is indicative of Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s commitment to home-grown players.
Without the wicket-keeper batsman being given the chance by Yorkshire to find his form following a stop-start international career, Bairstow would not have become an integral member of last summer’s Ashes-winning squad before producing the innings of his life for England against the South Africans at Cape Town when he shared a record partnership with the belligerent Ben Stokes who has also been honoured by Wisden, cricket’s bible.
In contrast to those sides that pay “lip service” to youth development, Yorkshire’s two successive County Championship wins have their foundations in the white rose county thanks to local players. As the 2016 season makes a rather soggy start, one cricketing adage continues to stand the test of time – “a strong Yorkshire is a strong England”. Long may this be the case.