Who would want to play for Yorkshire CCC anyway? Waters on Root absence
Although I mean that part in jest and as a provocative introduction, I also mean it part in seriousness with the club having been brought to its knees by the racism crisis and surely at the lowest ebb of any county cricket club in the history of the game.
“Last week, the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) said that Joe is finished for the year,” said Gibson. “That’s still the situation.”
Clearly, Root’s absence went down about as well with the Yorkshire supporters as dairy products at a vegan festival; they were understandably cheesed off to see him playing golf in Scotland while the club was relegated into Division Two.
To make matters worse, other England players did take part in the Championship’s final rounds - not least Ollie Pope and Ben Foakes, who helped Surrey beat Yorkshire at the Oval.
There is no consistency as to who is available, with the game a lottery in more ways than one, and although everyone understands that Root and his colleagues need rest and relaxation, England’s next Test is not until December, with the system almost as broken as the Yorkshire club itself.
Back to my initial point - why would anyone want to play for Yorkshire anyway at the moment?
Why, the club is in chaos, rotten to the core, with the chairman and interim director of cricket practically invisible.
The former, I would suggest, is responsible for the single most disgraceful act in the club’s history - the mass sacking of individuals with no attempt to find out whether they had done anything wrong or to listen to their concerns.
The latter, great bowler that he was, should rightly have stuck to the radio and might be better off going back to it.
Of course, every Yorkshire player wants to play for Yorkshire, but who could really say that the Yorkshire of today is a great club?
It calls to mind the phrase “love the sinner, hate the sin” - in other words, players and supporters love the club but most, I would say, hate what it has become and are depressed beyond words.
Root, ironically, is someone who has always put county and country on a par as much as possible and is always a positive influence when he does play for Yorkshire. Criticism of him seems unfair.
Relegation, it should also be noted, was a possibility but very much an outside one going into the Gloucestershire game - not a comment made in justification, just a statement of fact.
Frankly, if I was Root, I’d have played golf - and I don’t even like golf.