Why Yorkshire CCC boss Mark Arthur is convinced youngsters will take inspiration from World Cup triumph

INSPIRATION: England's players, including Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow, left, begin their celebrations after clinching the World Cup at Lord's on Sunday. Picture: Nick Potts/PA
INSPIRATION: England's players, including Yorkshire's Jonny Bairstow, left, begin their celebrations after clinching the World Cup at Lord's on Sunday. Picture: Nick Potts/PA
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Mark Arthur is expecting England’s glorious World Cup triumph to have an immediate impact on interest levels within the county game.

Yorkshire’s chief executive, present at Lord’s on Sunday as an MCC member, was speaking ahead of Yorkshire’s start to their Vitality Blast campaign which begins tonight against Nottinghamshire Outlaws at Emerald Headingley (6.30pm).

Mark Arthur at Emerald Headingley

Mark Arthur at Emerald Headingley

“I think it will have a positive impact on the crowds for the Blast,” said Arthur.

“Conversely, I think defeat would have had a negative impact on our normal gates.

“People may have thought, ‘We’ve built up to this event for four years, we’ve been number one in the world, but we’ve been let down.

“I’ll find something else to do on Friday night’.

On Friday night, Yorkshire v Nottinghamshire, which in any case would probably be our second largest home crowd behind the Roses, there will be a lot of youngsters wanting to come down and watch. I’m convinced it will help us.

Yorkshire chief executive Mark Arthur

“Now, I think on Friday night, Yorkshire v Nottinghamshire, which in any case would probably be our second largest home crowd behind the Roses, there will be a lot of youngsters wanting to come down and watch.

“I’m convinced it will help us.”

Sunday’s final was a day Arthur will never forget.

“I’ve been involved in sport at a professional level for 30 years, and that was special, really special,” he reflected.

England's Sam Curran celebrates taken the wicket of India's Lokesh Rahul (not in picture) during the test match at The Kia Ova last year. Picture: Steven Paston/PA

England's Sam Curran celebrates taken the wicket of India's Lokesh Rahul (not in picture) during the test match at The Kia Ova last year. Picture: Steven Paston/PA

“The game was intriguing, but you won’t ever see anything like that finish again in your lives.

“I remember where I was in 1966, I remember where I was in 2003 for the Rugby World Cup win – watching my lad play Saturday morning football.

“I’ll certainly remember where I was for this one. It was the greatest sporting moment I’ve witnessed live.

“If a fiction writer had written that script, the twists and turns in the last half an hour, you’d know it was fiction.

“In fact, you couldn’t write that.”

Surrey all-rounder Sam Curran, meanwhile, believes England’s triumph can spur the Ashes Test squad on to greater heights as attention turns towards regaining the urn.

The tournament and the aftermath of England’s successful campaign has overshadowed the build-up to the five-Test showdown against Australia, which gets under way on August 1 at Edgbaston.

Curran feels the Ashes remains the pinnacle of the cricketing calendar but insists the Test team can be galvanised by what transpired last weekend, irrespective of whether they featured on the pitch or not.

“I don’t think I’m alone in saying that it’s probably the greatest cricket match ever and for that to be the World Cup final was incredible” said the 21-year-old.

“That will provide a buzz for everyone across English cricket going into the Ashes.

“Days like Sunday get everyone, whether they were involved or not, more excited and desperate to do well so I’m sure it will rub off as we head into the Test part of the summer.

“The Ashes are the biggest thing you can play in as an England cricketer, that’s what I’ve always felt. Hopefully we can be lifting the urn at The Oval in September.”

Curran, whose older brother Tom was an unused squad member during the World Cup, has been drafted into England’s groups for the one-off Test against Ireland next week and a pre-Ashes training camp.

The left armer was England Lions’ standout performer against an Australian XI earlier this week, taking 6-95 and contributing a pair of half-centuries in a drawn first-class match at Canterbury.

Having recently recovered from a hamstring injury, he said: “I’ve come back and felt good, putting in some decent performances with bat and ball.

“Confidence is really good, it’s just trying to contribute as much as I can.

“Hopefully I’m in the XI on Wednesday and I can put in a performance.

“I’ve played four four-day games in four weeks, the body has felt good so I’m really excited to get into that.

“I’ll play one T20 for Surrey then prepare for the summer of Test match cricket. It’s really exciting.”