Jack Brooks homes in on title key for Yorkshire

Gazette & Herald: Jack Brooks homes in on title key for Yorkshire Jack Brooks homes in on title key for Yorkshire

JACK BROOKS believes the key to Yorkshire’s hopes of winning the LV= County Championship title could rest with their record at Headingley.

The effervescent fast bowler embarks upon his second season with the White Rose confident they can win one trophy this summer, although he says there is no reason why it cannot be more.

Brooks returned an encouraging first campaign having moved from Northamptonshire, taking 34 wickets from 11 Championship matches and 13 from eight in Twenty20.

But the 29-year-old, who did not play a 40-over match, had six weeks of his summer through May and June wiped out with a broken thumb.

"I know as a squad we're excited and really believe we can win a trophy,” said Brooks, who took three wickets against Leeds/Bradford MCCU earlier this week.

“Our one-day form should be better this year, and we're looking to compete. I think we'll compete in all three, but we'll see what happens as the season progresses.

“I don't know where we'll start in the ranks of favourites for the Championship, but I'd like to think we'll be up there. If we keep our seamers fit and rested and our batsmen can fire, we'll be competing as well as any team.

"If we can win a few more games here at Headingley, where we only won twice last year, we'll give ourselves a great chance.”

Brooks could not be better prepared for the new campaign having worked hard both at home and abroad.

He spent the second half of the winter in Perth playing WACA first grade cricket for Willetton Dragons, where he took 25 wickets in seven matches, before travelling to Sri Lanka with Yorkshire last month.

"Perth went really well. It started slowly, and I got biffed around a bit in the first couple of games perhaps down to rustiness,” he said.

“We played white ball cricket early on, and guys were coming hard at me who had played all summer. I didn't bowl how I'd like. But then I settled into a rhythm and picked up some good wickets. I played seven games, and we won all seven.

“I'm in a good place, I'm feeling strong and fit, and I'm excited about what lies ahead.”

"I was pleased as punch with the way I started the season last year, especially being at a new club with possibly a point to prove.

“The game I got injured in (Somerset at Headingley), I was bowling really well. I thought my rhythm was as good as it ever has been.

“It was very frustrating, although I tried not to get too down about it because it was an impact injury and one I couldn't do too much about.

"Personally, in the end, I was happy with the way it went. I could have done with a few more wickets, but 34 wickets in 11 games is ok.”

Meanwhile, it has been announced that the Indian Premier League final will be played on June 1, meaning Aaron Finch would not be available to Yorkshire until June 6 at the earliest if Sunrisers Hyderabad reach the final.

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