Darren Gough - Why Yorkshire may have to look abroad for pace

COUNTY cricket has finished for another season and, for me, it has been pretty shocking with hardly any player scoring 1,000 runs.

Hard to replace: Yorkshire's Jack Brooks.
Hard to replace: Yorkshire's Jack Brooks.

It is a big concern and a lesson for the ECB to realise that county cricket played at the start and end of the season is just not going to work for anyone.

Saying that we saw some of the best cricket in the last game of the season between Surrey and Essex. Surrey were the team I picked to win the championship at the start of the year and they were by far the best team and deserved the title.

It is amazing that at the bottom end Nottinghamshire basically survived because Lancashire got docked a one-point penalty for a slow over rate in July.

Proof that counties with Test grounds have all the money can be seen in the fact that Notts have already signed three batsmen for next year in Ben Slater, Ben Duckett and Joe Clarke, who has just signed from Worcester.

They have obviously noticed a weakness in their batting and gone out and sorted it.

As for Yorkshire, well they just seem to be losing players at the minute and it is a big concern.

Let’s be honest, for whatever reason we have lost our best bowler in Jack Brooks. I notice somebody mentioned that Yorkshire have not got enough runs or batting points this year. But looking at the table they are right up there on the batting points, but down near the bottom with the bowling points.

Looking at Tim Bresnan, he is getting a little bit older. I know he got a five-for a few weeks ago, but he is never going to be a strike bowler as such now. He is not that type, anyway.

For me, Yorkshire are now desperate for a strike bowler. Our main two have now gone in Liam Plunkett and Brooks, so I am a little bit concerned for next season and we might have to get an overseas ‘gun’ opening bowler.

Look at the difference that Morne Morkel has made for Surrey after joining as a Kolpak signing. He has been absolutely outstanding; what a player.

He has basically been the difference. It has been a team effort at Surrey, but you have got to say that Morkel – alongside Rikki Clarke – has been fantastic for them.

But the good thing as far as Yorkshire are concerned is that at least the season is over and they have escaped relegation and that was the main aim.

It has been a hit-and-miss season from the start with the Adil Rashid and David Willey situation and Plunkett going to the IPL.

We also missed out on our overseas fast bowler, big Australian Billy Stanlake, for the T20.

Hopefully the county will make their big decisions for next season early and come back strongly. Because, let’s be honest, this season was a disappointment.

At the minute we are left with two leg spinners in Rashid and Josh Poysden, which will be a bit weird in itself.

It will be interesting to see how Rashid goes this winter with England in terms of how much he will actually play next year with Yorkshire.

He is not first-choice for England now and could be third choice for the Test in Galle in the forthcoming Sri Lanka series. I actually think that they will bowl Jack Leach and Moeen Ali before him.

If Rashid does not play all winter what will he do next year?

The season is over, but Yorkshire are now going to Abu Dhabi for the inaugural T20 Trophy there.

I just think it will be a bit of a holiday for the lads, really. A nice little trip to get on.

But the big thing is that Yorkshire have stayed up at least.

This week I attended a Legendary England Test XI dinner hosted by Lord’s Taverners with a number of distinguished guests picking our ultimate side of the last 50 years.

The side they went for was Graham Gooch, Alastair Cook, Ted Dexter, Joe Root, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Botham, Alan Knott, Andrew Flintoff, Graeme Swann, Jon Snow and Jimmy Anderson.

A lot of people had me in, but it was down to a panel in the end. I did get down to the final fast bowling shortlist after it was whittled down from eight to five.

I thought it would be an interesting exercise to pick my own side and I would also have Gooch and Cook as my openers, their numbers speak for themselves along with Anderson.

David Gower would be at No 3 for his magnificent strokeplay and Pietersen would be in at four – with Root at five.

You have got to have Botham at six. But I would go for Alec Stewart as a wicketkeeper-batsman at seven; what a batting line-up that would be.

I would go for Derek Underwood as my spinner, purely because of DRS and his numbers. If he had played nowadays he would have even more wickets as he bowled wicket to wicket. I find it hard to pick a current spinner because of DRS, which gives them a stack of wickets.

You look at the likes of Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan, Saqlain Mushtaq and Mushtaq Ahmed, and have to say they would have probably got 1,000 wickets each with DRS.

Anderson would be my No 11. If it was a one-day international England XI I would pick myself, but I will go for Bob Willis in the Test line-up along with Flintoff to finish my side. Swann would be my 12th man as you need an off-spinner.

As for not picking Geoffrey Boycott, it was a hard call. I can only go on what I have seen – I never saw him play live.

I played with and against Gooch and he was absolutely unbelievable and improved with age.