“EVERY interview I’ve done about Twenty20 cricket has been about how we’ve never got to Finals Day. Now we’re there we want to go and win it.”
So proclaimed Yorkshire’s delighted captain Andrew Gale after his team booked their place with a 29-run quarter-final win against Worcestershire at Headingley.
Yorkshire are off to Cardiff on August 25 – and Gale believes his side can go all the way and lift the trophy.
“There’s no reason why we can’t win the cup,” said Gale, whose team play Sussex in the semi-final at the Swalec Stadium, with Hampshire and Somerset meeting in the other semi-final.
“It’s fantastic to get there and something we’ve been keen to do for a long time now, but we won’t be going to make up the numbers.
“There are three other good sides and it won’t be easy, but we’ve definitely got a chance of going all the way.”
It was typically optimistic talk from Gale, who indeed has at his disposal a formidable combination.
The only cloud on Yorkshire’s horizon is the loss of Mitchell Starc; the Australian pace bowler is the country’s leading wicket-taker in Twenty20 with 21 at 10.38, but yesterday proved to be his last match for the club due to international commitments.
“We’re going to keep knocking on the door of Cricket Australia,” said Gale, “But we can’t see him coming back for Finals Day in all honesty.
“It’s a shame because he’s been such a massive performer for us in this competition.
“Mitch nails his yorkers, he bowls 90mph and he’s everything you’d want as a captain.
“On the plus side, we should have Ryan Sidebottom back from injury and possibly Tim Bresnan if he is made available by England.”
Even without Starc, Yorkshire will take some stopping, on the evidence of their T20 performances so far
“The guys have not been satisfied with how they’ve performed in the past and they’ve worked really hard on their skills,” said first team coach Jason Gillespie.
“It’s been very exciting to see them develop.”