YORKSHIRE’S hopes of bouncing back from their opening weekend defeat in the NatWest Blast were ended by rain washing out their encounter with Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston.
Umpires Peter Hartley and Peter Willey abandoned the game shortly after 8pm over concerns about the outfield, earning Yorkshire their first point of the campaign following their defeat to Northamptonshire last week at Headingley.
Although Yorkshire were frustrated at last night’s abandonment, first team coach Jason Gillespie described it as “the right decision”. And he is hopeful of lifting their gloom as they prepare for the arrival of Australian batting sensation Aaron Finch.
Currently playing in the Indian Premier League, Finch will arrive at Headingley shortly to begin a spell as the county’s overseas player in both County Championship and Twenty20 cricket.
He is one of world cricket’s star batsmen in one-day and Twenty20 cricket, but he has yet to find consistency in the longer form of the game, averaging just 27.47 from 39 first-class matches with only two centuries.
Finch will replace New Zealander Kane Williamson while he is away on international duty in the West Indies.
Williamson is poised to play his last game for Yorkshire until July in the Roses match starting tomorrow.
But despite his one-day credentials, Finch has been also backed to succeed in four-day cricket by Australian Test fast bowler Peter Siddle, a team-mate of Finch’s with state side Victoria, who is currently Nottinghamshire’s overseas player.
“I have pretty much grown up with Aaron, and I hope he does well at Yorkshire,” said Siddle.
“He’s had a hard trot the last couple of years in four-day cricket. He has been trying to work out how to bring his two games together.
“His short-form cricket has been unbelievable in the last couple of years, and it has been about working out how to play in the four-day form of the game.
“If he gets it right and works it out - David Warner is probably the perfect example.”
Siddle added: “If Aaron just finds that little something, he can be a very dangerous player.
“There is no doubt if he gets going, he can take the game away from the opposition. But the big thing for him is to find a position where he wants to bat. He has been up and down.
“If he can settle somewhere, he can turn into a good first-class player.”
All-rounder Richard Pyrah has been recalled for Yorkshire’s Roses match squad, the first championship match against arch-rivals Lancashire since 2011.
Gary Ballance, Joe Root and Tim Bresnan are all missing with England’s squad for the one-day series against Sri Lanka, which has prompted Yorkshire to recall Pyrah, whose last championship appearance was the ten-wicket victory over Middlesex at Lord’s last June.
Andrew Hodd and Alex Lees have also been recalled.
Yorkshire squad v Lancashire: A Gale (capt), A Lyth, A Lees, K Williamson, J Bairstow, A Hood, A Rashid, L Plunkett, S Patterson, R Sidebottom, J Brooks, R Pyrah.