ANDREW GALE says Yorkshire success in the forthcoming Royal London One-day Cup will help him achieve a long-term career goal.
The third competition on the county calendar kicks off on Saturday when the Vikings cross the Pennines to take on old foes Lancashire Lightning in a floodlit clash at Emirates Old Trafford (2pm).
The cup reverts to 50-over cricket after four years of 40 overs, mirroring what is played at international level.
The top four teams in each nine-team group qualify for the quarter-finals in late August after eight group matches before the semi-finals in early September and the final at Lord’s on September 20 - the last Saturday of the season.
“It’s one of those things in your career that you put on your bucket list as a cricketer. You want to play in a Lord’s final. It’s something that I would definitely like to tick off,” said captain Gale, who is in favour of the change to 50 overs.
“People say ‘it’s gone back to 50 overs and there won’t be as much interest and because of the amount of cricket played so far, teams will be chopping and changing’.
“I can assure you, we want to win it. We’ll be going into that trophy to win it.
“I loved 40-over cricket, I really enjoyed that format. But, while international cricket’s played at 50 overs, it makes sense for us to be playing that.
“I think it will definitely suit our style of cricket better, 50 overs.
“You’re almost playing a Championship match within 50 overs, although I’m sure some of the southern teams will try and play a more Twenty20 style.
“Someone like Adam Lyth could do a job playing like he does in Championship cricket, and with the seam attack we’ve got and two new balls, if we get the pitches doing a bit at Headingley like they do in the Championship, that could be a winning formula.”
Yorkshire’s last trophy came in 50-over cricket when they beat Somerset in the C&G Trophy final in 2002 thanks, in the main, to an unbeaten century from Australian left-hander Matthew Elliott.
“I was with the England under 19s at the time,” recalled Gale.
“There was me, Tim Bresnan and Nick Thornicroft who’d played a game at Taunton against India the day before. We drove straight to Lord’s to watch the final, and it was a fantastic day.”
Ryan Sidebottom is the only member of the current squad to have played in that final, although Richard Dawson and Anthony McGrath remain part of the county’s coaching staff.
Sidebottom, however, is unlikely to feature much, if at all, in the competition in order to preserve him for the Championship.
Before then, Yorkshire are in NatWest T20 Blast action against Nottinghamshire at Headingley tomorrow. It is their final North Division match, and they know a win will secure their place in the quarter-finals.
They will also advance with a loss as long as Leicestershire beat Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston.