Yorkshire mafia? Boycott hits out to claim White Rose would beat England

Fresh from his passionate defence of fellow Yorkshireman Colin Graves, Geoffrey Boycott has claimed his county would beat England were they to play each other now.

HOW's THAT? Geoff Boycott's Yorkshire team that would beat England, as he has claimed.

Boycott took exception to England captain Alastair Cook’s comments towards Graves in the wake of the defeat to West Indies in Barbados over the weekend, as the islanders managed to secure a shock 1-1 Test series draw.

The incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman labelled the West Indies “mediocre” before the series began, a comment Cook thought gave England’s opponents plenty of ammunition to put one over on the tourists.

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Yet Cook telling the BBC: “That’s a Yorkshireman for you - they’re quite happy to talk a good game,” prompted Boycott to say Cook believes he is “untouchable”, and, yesterday, his White Rose pride kicked in again.

Having voiced his displeasure at Adam Lyth and Adil Rashid failing to play a minute of the three Tests - not considering Jonny Bairstow and Liam Plunkett’s lack of action - the 74-year-old said on Twitter his county would beat his country.

Responding to a tweet saying “Yorkshire would beat England at the moment!” Boycott wrote back with the title-winners’ team.

“Correct, Lyth lees Williamson Root Ballance Finch Bairstow Rashid Plunkett Brooks Bresnan or Sidebottom,” he said.

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There have been suggestions of a ‘Yorkshire mafia’ forming in English cricket, with Graves supported by prominent media voices Boycott and Michael Vaughan.

But Fitzwilliam-born Boycott does not believe he is in the wrong, adding: “Get no enjoyment from criticising any Eng player but was disrespectful & out of order having a go at Yorkies” and “Don’t give a toss what you outsiders think, if he attacks us I care, there was no call for his comment.”

He then wrote: “Yorks has produced more cricketers for England than any other county.”

County champions Yorkshire had six players on the tour - only two of which played - although coach Jason Gillespie has been suggested to be a man Graves would like to replace current incumbent Peter Moores.

Former Yorkshire player Matthew Hoggard, meanwhile, has warned that time is short for England to get their house in order for this summer’s Ashes.

Anticipating former dual Ashes-winning captain Andrew Strauss is about to be named the England and Wales Cricket Board’s new director, Hoggard is expecting some imminent “tough decisions” to try and whip Cook and coach Peter Moores’s team into shape.

An Ashes winner 10 years ago when England clinched the urn for the first time in a generation, Hoggard is far from alone in the assumption that Strauss will be the first incumbent of a key new management role - after Michael Vaughan, captain back in 2005, withdrew his interest.

“If it is going to be Andrew Strauss, then he’s got some tough decisions to make,” said the former England seamer.

“I’m sure Colin Graves will be calling for some action to be taken.”