Yorkshire CCC's Adam Lyth still loving it after all these years

ADAM LYTH has revealed that he wants to continue playing into his 40s.
Partners in runs: Adam Lyth, right, and Fin Bean. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comPartners in runs: Adam Lyth, right, and Fin Bean. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
Partners in runs: Adam Lyth, right, and Fin Bean. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

The Yorkshire batsman turns 37 in the final week of the coming season. He has two years left on his current deal.

“I’m nowhere near finished yet,” said Lyth. “Hopefully there’s another three or four more seasons, even five seasons to go.

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“I’ve got a contract for this year and for next year, but no intention at all to finish – not a chance. I’d love to play for as long as I can, and as long as I’m producing the goods and the club still wants me, I want to be here.”

Adam Lyth pictured at Headingley last week. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.comAdam Lyth pictured at Headingley last week. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com
Adam Lyth pictured at Headingley last week. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Lyth said his love for the game has never diminished.

It’s the same as when he made his first team debut in 2006.

“It’s never changed. It’s just the same as it always was. I’ve still got goals that I want to achieve, both for Yorkshire and personally.

"I want us to win as many trophies as we can and to get back into Division One of the County Championship, and I want to score as many runs as possible.”

Lyth is chasing down 15,000 at first-class level, a target he should reach in 2025 or, at a push, perhaps this summer.

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He has 13,522 across 222 games at an average nearing 40 with 32 hundreds; he also has 8,193 runs in List A/T20 cricket.

“I’m about 1,400 short of 15,000 first-class runs, so I’d like to get to that,” said Lyth. “But I don’t want to put a final figure on it; I just want to get as many as I can.

“I’ve got about 30 hundreds and I still want a few more of those, too. I’d like to get into the 40s, at least, in terms of hundreds.”

After nearly two decades at Yorkshire, Lyth is one of the few current players who was part of the Championship-winning squads of the mid-2010s. It was a golden time in the club’s history – and Lyth feels the present squad could perhaps emulate it.

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“It’s got the potential, for sure. We probably haven’t got the experience that we had when we last won the Championship, but the potential is definitely there.

“Obviously we’re in Division Two at the minute and our first aim is to get out of Division Two and to mix it with the big boys in Division One. If we can do that, anything’s possible.”

Yorkshire are hot favourites to go up after relegation in 2022 was followed by another season marred by off-field problems. The club was docked 48 points on the back of the racism crisis but this year the playing field is level and Yorkshire have been further boosted by the early-season availability of England’s Joe Root and Harry Brook, who will both play five games.

“Looking at the first few games we’ve got ‘Rooty’ and ‘Brooky’ available and that XI is looking very, very strong, but it still won’t be easy,” warned Lyth. “We’ve got to play some very good cricket for long periods of time, and it’s not a given that just because we’ve got those two in the team that we’re going to win every week.

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“We’ve got to play well and earn the right to get into positions where we can drive games forward and hopefully finish games off. We don’t have a divine right to do well and we need to perform.”

Lyth felt Yorkshire didn’t do enough last year regardless of their off-field problems. The club was badly hampered by the weather too, losing some 40 per cent of Championship playing time.

“The points thing obviously hampered us last year, but we didn’t deserve to go up last year. We didn’t play well enough in my opinion. Obviously, a few games were hampered by the weather as well, but there’s nothing you can do about that. This year, we start again and, touch wood, everyone’s fit and raring to go.”

As the countdown continues to the season opener against Leicestershire at Headingley on Friday, Lyth is pleased with his own form.

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The left-hander was the only Yorkshire player to pass 1,000 runs last season, although opening partner Fin Bean (983) ran him desperately close in an outstanding breakthrough campaign.

“I feel really good and was pleased with how pre-season went,” said Lyth. “Abu Dhabi was a fantastic tour, and I feel as though I’m striking the ball well.

“Another 1,000-run season would of course be nice and my partnership with ‘Beany’ is very enjoyable. He had a brilliant year last year and we’ve started well again this year (with a century stand against the Leeds-Bradford students),”

At 37, Lyth remains one of Yorkshire’s very best servants, a man whose hunger and ambition remain striking.

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“I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve done at this great club and hopefully there’s a few more years that I’m here for.

“Winning a white-ball trophy would be another big goal – the club hasn’t won one since 2002 – and another Championship title would obviously be fantastic.

"Those days were unbelievable, and it would be great to relive those days again.”

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