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Gillespie and Graves tip Yorkshire to soar in top flight
Yorkshire believe they have built a platform to challenge for silverware in the coming seasons on the back of an impressive 2012.
And their main aim is to compete with champions Warwickshire next year in a bid to win their first LV= County Championship title since 2001.
An instant return to Division One was secured with a third straight win against Essex last week.
While failing to gain promotion would have been a big shock, the Tykes ensured their season can be viewed as one to remember with some excellent Twenty20 performances.
They reached Finals Day for the first time in ten years, only beaten in the final by one-day double winners Hampshire. As a result, Yorkshire head to South Africa in a fortnight for the Champions League t20 event.
“We certainly won’t be making up the numbers next year,” said first-team coach Jason Gillespie, who will look back fondly on his first season in charge.
“I believe we’ve got a real chance of performing strongly and challenging for a trophy. That’s certainly the frame of mind we’ll be going into 2013 with. We’ll be going out there to challenge for top spot.
“We’ve got the players, and the players have got the attitude to play good positive cricket.
“As a coaching staff we just want them to put in all the effort they can and have a positive attitude.
“I’m confident this playing group can go a long way.”
Yorkshire will need to strengthen their squad.
The signing of wicketkeeper Andrew Hodd as back-up to Jonny Bairstow is a shrewd one, while adding to their fast bowling department is the number one priority. Glamorgan’s James Harris, 22, is in talks, while Northamptonshire’s Jack Brooks is another option.
Club chairman Colin Graves echoed Gillespie’s comments: “I think we can challenge for the Championship,” he added.
“If you look back two years, with virtually the same team, we finished second. So why can’t we do the same next year?”
Yorkshire’s Joe Root, meanwhile, has won the Cricket Writer’s Club Young Player of the Year award for 2012 after scoring 746 runs from 15 first-class matches.
He will hope to be named in England’s Test squad tomorrow for November’s tour of India.