Yorkshire chasing the treble insists Moxon

YORKSHIRE boss Martyn Moxon insists the club's sights are firmly fixed on winning the treble.

Yorkshire's Ryan Sidebottom.
Yorkshire's Ryan Sidebottom.

Yorkshire return to County Championship action today looking to step up their bid for a hat-trick of titles.

They are also in the running to win the Royal London One-Day Cup and the NatWest T20 Blast, having reached the quarter-finals of both tournaments.

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Yorkshire have never lifted two major trophies in one season, let alone three, but director of cricket Moxon said the club are aiming high.

“That’s our aim – to win the treble,” he said.

“It will certainly be a challenge, to say the very least, but we’ve got a chance.

“The pleasing thing is that we’ve got an opportunity to win all three at this moment in time.

“You can’t ask for any more than that at this stage of the season.”

With pace bowlers Ryan Sidebottom and Jack Brooks fit again after injury, and with teenage quick Matthew Fisher also near a return after a hamstring problem, Yorkshire have the timely blessing of a clean bill of health.

Sidebottom is set to play his first first-team game today since the corresponding match at Edgbaston in April, when he damaged his fibula playing football, and Brooks returns after missing two of the last three Championship games with a quad injury.

For Moxon, it will be like having two new signings to come into the side.

It will also allow the club to rotate their bowling attack at the start of a daunting period, with seven Championship matches still to play and trips to Cardiff, Manchester, Canterbury, Scarborough and Southampton to follow before the end of the month, plus a possible trip to Birmingham for T20 Finals Day.

“It’s great to have Ryan and Jack back fully-fit and available again,” said Moxon.

“To get them back at this time of the year, pretty fresh really, is like having two new players starting again.

“Both have been a huge part of our success over the last two years, and their partnership has taken a hell of a lot of wickets.

“Matthew Fisher is coming back from injury as well, so it’s a good time to have everybody fit again.”

Yorkshire know they will have to raise their game a touch to retain the Championship title.

They start the August fixtures in sixth place, 25 points off the top but with a match in hand on most sides above them, including this week’s opponents, Warwickshire.

“We need to get some wins to catch-up,” said Moxon, “and this week’s game is sure to be important.

“At the same time, and although we do want to win every competition, we can’t look too far ahead on any given day.

“We have to take it one day at a time, one session at a time, and we’ve done that particularly well in the last couple of years.”

Yorkshire were favourites to retain the Championship at the start of the year, but with injuries having bit unusually hard, they have yet to rediscover the ruthless streak of the past two seasons.

Moxon hopes that will now come to the surface.

“We have to take our opportunities when we get them,” he said.

“We haven’t nailed them home so far and haven’t been as ruthless this year as we’d like to be.

“We’ve had opportunities to win two or three games and let the opposition off the hook, so we’ve got to become more ruthless, more clinical.”

Strange as it may seem, this could yet turn out to be the most successful season in Yorkshire’s history, with the club’s one-day form having improved to the extent that you would not bet against them in either limited-overs tournament.

Although Yorkshire lost back-to-back 50-over matches at the start of the week, Moxon attributed that to tiredness after a tough schedule, and he is confident the club can continue to make headway in the 50-over and 20-over formats.

“We made no secret of the fact that we wanted to improve our T20 form going into the season, and we’ve seen a remarkable turnaround in that competition,” said Moxon, with Yorkshire having won six of their last seven games to book a quarter-final at Glamorgan.

“Credit to the players for the way they’ve done that, and we’ll go to Cardiff in good spirits for the quarter-final tie.

“We’ve done well in 50-over recently and got to the semi-final last year, and hopefully we can go one better this year.

“It’s an exciting time, and there’s a lot to play for,” added Moxon.