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Yorkshire consider resting Ryan Sidebottom from 40-over cricket
Ryan Sidebottom has admitted that he and Yorkshire's coaching staff are considering resting him from 40-over cricket this summer in a bid to keep him fresh for the County Championship and Twenty20 competitions.
The ex-England left-arm swing bowler is preparing to fly to Barbados on Monday for the county’s pre-season tour after unveiling their new Vikings name for limited overs cricket in York earlier this week, where he was ironically wearing their new Yorkshire Bank 40 kit.
Sidebottom’s current contract at Headingley runs out at the end of the 2014 summer, which will be his 18th in the first-class game.
Despite the winter signings of Jack Brooks and Liam Plunkett, the superb form of Steve Patterson last season and the emergence of Moin Ashraf in 2012, Sidebottom, is still the leader of Yorkshire’s attack in Championship cricket.
The 2010 World Twenty20 winner is also a crucial part of the Vikings’ 20-over team.
But to be able to maintain his high standards in those two formats throughout a hectic summer, he believes he has to sacrifice his 40-over place.
“I might not play too much Pro40 this year and stick to the Twenty20s and four-day stuff, which will give me a bit more rest,” said the 35-year-old, who wants to carry on playing as long as he can.
“The county season is very hectic with a lot of games and a lot of travelling. We’ll just have to see how it goes.
“You look at people like Ryan Giggs in football who’s still going strong. Then there’s Glen Chapple at 39, Andre Adams and Alan Richardson. There’s still a number of bowlers a few years older than me performing very well.
“I’m still loving it – the playing, the training, all of it. There’s a lot of young lads keeping me fit, even if I am languishing at the back in the hill runs. Obviously the legs are getting a bit older, but I still feel like I can contribute.”
Yorkshire will spend a fortnight in the Caribbean, where they will play a two-day match between themselves next week before defending their inter-counties Twenty20 title and finishing the trip off with two two-day matches against Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.
Their opening Twenty20 tie is a repeat of last August’s Friends Life t20 final against Hampshire a week today.
“We’ve worked really hard this winter on our fitness,” added Sidebottom. “The guys are fit as fiddles. We performed really well out there last year and set the tone for the rest of the season. Hopefully this year’s no different.
“We’ll go out there in warm weather where we can hone our skills a lot better.
“We’ve sat down and looked at what we need to improve on as a team and as individuals, and Barbados is another important step to doing well.”
Yorkshire are taking 22 players on tour, but will be without England duo Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root as well as resting England Lion Gary Ballance.
Phil Jaques has returned to England from Australia in time to travel, while Scotland international Iain Wardlaw will link up with the squad after completing his World Cricket League commitments in the United Arab Emirates.
Academy trio Ben Coad, Will Rhodes and Lewis Stabler also make the trip thanks to financial help from the Yorkshire Players’ Association.
Squad: Andrew Gale (c), Moin Ashraf, Jack Brooks, Ben Coad, Andrew Hodd, Dan Hodgson, Phil Jaques, Jack Leaning, Alex Lees, Adam Lyth, Steve Patterson, Liam Plunkett, Richard Pyrah, Azeem Rafiq, Gurman Randhawa, Adil Rashid, William Rhodes, Joe Sayers, Lewis Stabler, Ryan Sidebottom, James Wainman, Iain Wardlaw.
Wednesday, March 13 Inter-squad two-day match
Saturday, March 16 Yorkshire v Hampshire, Barbados Twenty20 Cup
Sunday, March 17 Barbados Twenty20 Cup finals day
Tuesday, March 19 Yorkshire v Northamptonshire, two-day match
Friday, March 22 Yorkshire v Nottinghamshire, two-day match