Andrew Gale has revealed that he cannot remember exactly what he said to annoy Lancashire’s players during the 2011 season to spark a couple of spicy Roses LV= County Championship clashes.
The Yorkshire captain is thought to have tipped the red-rose side to be relegated in an interview prior to that summer, only to see them complete the double and go on to win the title for the first time in 77 years.
To rub salt into the wound, Gale’s Yorkshire were the ones relegated.
The two counties meet for the first time in a Roses Championship match since 2011 at Headingley on Sunday with the boot firmly on the other foot.
Yorkshire are top of Division One and Lancashire are struggling. All roads point to a white-rose victory.
But Gale, who got involved in an on-field verbal battle with England’s Jimmy Anderson during the early-season match at Liverpool three years ago, is refusing to count his chickens.
“There was a little bit mentioned about something I’d said in the press about them being possibly relegated, but I never recall saying that,” he said.
“You know me well enough to know that I wouldn’t go around saying ‘Lancashire will be relegated’ this season, so I don’t know whether it was misheard or what. But it certainly spiced things up, and it was actually quite good to play in those games.
“You want to play in a Roses game, and you want it to feel like it’s a Roses game.
“There’s a line you don’t want to cross, and you don’t want teams verbally abusing each other, but you want the cricket to be played hard and fair.
“There’s a lot of history and tradition surrounding this fixture. I’ll certainly want the lads to go out and play for the White Rose and hit their straps.
“They’re a good side are Lancashire with some experienced players.
“They haven’t started as well as they would have liked. But, looking down their team, they’ve got some great performers.
“Like I’ve said about any team in this division, if you’re not quite on it, they’ll walk all over you. We’ve got to be switched on.”
Meanwhile, Tim Bresnan has been relased from England’s one-day squad to play in tomorrow night’s televised NatWest T20 Blast clash with the Birmingham Bears at Edgbaston (6.30).
He will return to national duty ahead of Sunday’s second one-day international against Sri Lanka at Durham.