Tuesday, 8 January 2013
Boycott: we are nothing without history
Yorkshire president Geoffrey Boycott called in at Headingley ahead of the start of the club’s 150th anniversary celebrations and we took some time out to interview him on a big year ahead for the county as we look to achieve great things back in the top flight of English cricket.
Q: What does it mean to be president in our 150th year?
GB: “It is an honour and a privilege to be honest. This club is steeped in history and tradition and to be part of what is a cricketing institution is fantastic.
“We have achieved so many great things over the years, success is part of our fabric and I hope in our anniversary year we can write our own little piece of history.
“Our traditions are second to none and our achievements are unsurpassed. We have won more County Championship than any other county. We are nothing without our history and hopefully over the next 150 years we can continue to progress in the same vein.
Q: We have our first event to celebrate our anniversary tonight, how much are you looking forward to it?
GB: “Our first event of the year should be a great function as we look back on the magical moments that have made this club so successful over the years.
“We are holding the event on the site where the first meeting took place, back in 1863, so there will be a lot of significance and nostalgia as we take a trip down memory lane.
“It is also important that the current squad, who will be in attendance, gain an understanding of our history and this event will give them a sense of education of what it means to play for Yorkshire.”
Q: What can we expect in 2013 on the field?
GB: “I’m not involved in the team, but it would be a massive achievement if we could win the County Championship in our anniversary year.
“The team did one thing I asked them to do last year and that was to get promoted. That was vital for us as the members are steeped in cricket history and proper cricket, by that I mean four-day cricket, and it was important for them to see the team competing at the elite level. The long form of the game is part of our real history, so it would be nice if they could win the title, but I’m not expecting it.
“It is always very difficult when a number of our top players, like Tim Bresnan, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root will be away for most of the season on England duty. These days you can’t employ as many players as you like and you can’t get the overseas players you like. The important thing is for us to hold our own and sustain our place in the first division. The worst thing possible would be to get relegated -that must not happen under any circumstances.”
Q: What makes Yorkshire cricket special?
GB: “I can sum it up best that when I was a young boy growing up, everyone used to talk about Yorkshire cricket and its great players.
“To play for this club is extra special. I remember walking through those gates for the first time at Headingley thinking this is where I want to play my cricket and that gave you the extra motivation to be successful.
“The fact that all of us were born in the county and home-grown gave us a unique identity in the game. It gave us all a connection. All that has changed now and it had to change for the club to compete.
“Our traditions set us apart. Like the Yorkshire rose, which is distinctive and different from anyone of the other counties. It was created by Lord Hawke. It’s 11 petals signifying 11 players. These are traditions you can’t take away from the club.”
To check out Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s plans during its 150th year, please visit www.yorkshireccc.com/150th