Yorkshire celebrated on the outfield as if they had won the Champions League t20 and not just qualified for its group stages after beating Trinidad & Tobago at Supersport Park in Centurion.
“I think we have won a trophy in some senses,” said director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon, who has seen the county reach the final of the domestic t20 this year as well as gaining promotion back to the top tier of the LV= County Championship.
“Our aim was to get through to the group stage, and for me that is a massive success. The rest of it is just the icing on the cake.
“You look at the teams and the names that we’ll be playing against during the next fortnight, it’s quite staggering.
“We’ve got some young players here who are going to be playing against the Tendulkars, the Dhonis and the like, and that can only be good for their experience.”
After arguably their most impressive comeback of 2012 against T&T, recovering from 51-4 in their pursuit of 149, Yorkshire are now making plans to travel to Cape Town tomorrow after tonight’s opening ceremony in Johannesburg.
The players are back in training today after a hefty celebration on Wednesday night.
The White Rose open their group ‘B’ account against Sydney Sixers at the iconic Newlands ground in Cape Town on Tuesday (12.30pm UK).
They then face Mumbai Indians at the same ground, Highveld Lions in Johannesburg and Chennai Super Kings in Durban with a day in between each match.
“It’s fantastic for Yorkshire cricket,” added Moxon. “The club now are going to be known around the world for this.
“The history of the club is fantastic, and we’re known anyway. But it’s a different kind of format.
“Different people are going to know about Yorkshire cricket, and that’s fantastic.”
Although Gary Ballance and Adil Rashid took the bulk of the plaudits for their imperative 103-run stand for the fifth wicket, Ryan Sidebottom’s spell of 3-13 from four overs was crucial in setting the tone and pricking a late T&T revival with the bat.
Sidebottom, 34, has won the World Twenty20 with England, taken a Test hat-trick and won the County Championship title three times with Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire.
But he said: “This has got to be right up there. We’re in the Champions League now, and it’s a brilliant feeling. We’ll definitely go and enjoy it.
“It feels like we have won a trophy, this achievement has that same sort of vibe.
“The two teams we’ve played against in the qualifiers have a lot of World Twenty20 winners and IPL players, and we’ve got such a young team.
“You can’t underestimate just what a great achievement this has been.”
Unlikely to win the tournament, Yorkshire’s aim now should be to upset one of the big boys, preferably either Sachin Tendulkar’s Mumbai or MS Dhoni’s Chennai. Getting one over Mitchell Starc’s Sydney would also delight the camp.
“Why not?” added Sidebottom. “We’ve surprised a few people already, and that’s what we’ll be trying to do again. There’s no reason to be afraid of anything.”
Overseas batsman David Miller is expected to return to the Yorkshire squad ahead of their final group match against Chennai on October 22 before being available for a potential semi-final and final.
Sydney, meanwhile, beat Delhi Daredevils in a warm-up match at Centurion yesterday morning.
Starc claimed three wickets, including that of Kevin Pietersen, as the Daredevils slipped to 2-4 in the early stages.