MARTYN MOXON believes Yorkshire's change of pre-season tour venue from the United Arab Emirates to South Africa is a win-win scenario for the county.

Yorkshire have been regular visitors to Abu Dhabi and Dubai in recent years, including twice for the four-day champion county clash with the MCC in 2015 and 2016. They have interspersed that with visits to Barbados and Colombo.

But on Wednesday, a 20-man playing squad departed Emerald Headingley for the NWU PUK Sports Village in Potchefstroom, approximately a 90-minute drive from Johannesburg.

The facility, where Yorkshire will spend 13 days, has been used by England Lions. It was also the Spanish football squad's base for the 2010 World Cup, which they won.

Assistant coach Rich Pyrah has been twice before and has described the facilities as "the best in the world".

Yorkshire director of cricket Moxon said: "We wanted a change of scenery. We've been to the Middle East for the last four or five years now.

"They are great facilities out there in the UAE, nothing wrong with them, but we just wanted something different.

"There is a financial aspect to it as well but I think Potch will give us more similar conditions to early-season England.

"Plus it's a good place in which to get everyone together as a team because in Dubai, there's lots of things to do and people can disappear of an evening to restaurants and malls.

"Potch is more of a closed environment where you can get together to build that strong bond. That will serve us well going into the season. All of those factors are very positive for us."

The need for a strong team bond heading into 2018 has been mentioned more than once at Headingley this winter.

During last season's struggles in the County Championship, when Yorkshire narrowly avoided relegation, they believed something minor was missing in that regard.

"When people are struggling for form and you're not winning, I think everyone comes under pressure," said Moxon.

"That can strain relationships a bit. Nothing major, but it just strains everybody. There are more frustrations and things such as that. It challenges the environment.

"Part of us going to Potch will make sure we are together and united going into the season.

"The great thing about this winter is that it has been a very hard-working and together environment. We want to protect that and build on it."

England limited-overs duo Liam Plunkett and David Willey are both making the trip.

Plunkett travels for the whole tour as he steps up his recovery from a hamstring injury, while Willey will arrive on March 14 after completing ODI duties with England in New Zealand.

Although it was originally planned for Adil Rashid to make the trip, his decision to concentrate solely on white-ball cricket this summer means Moxon and coach Andrew Gale have had a change of heart.

The tour includes six days of cricket. There is a two-day game against Nottinghamshire, a two-day intra-squad match and 50-over clashes with Nottinghamshire and Leeds/Bradford University.

Yorkshire then have red-ball friendlies against Durham and Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities upon their return home.

Yorkshire tour squad: Ballance (capt), Bresnan, Brook, Brooks, Carver, Coad, Hodd, Kohler-Cadmore, Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Patterson, Plunkett, Rafiq, Shaw, Tattersall, Wainman, Waite, Warner, Willey.