THE Headband Warrior has given Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale a headache.

Jack Brooks made a stand-out return to the T20 fold in Thursday’s Vitality Blast win over Durham at Emerald Headingley, taking 3-21 from four overs.

It was the seamer’s first 20-over appearance for a little over three years.

In fact, since the start of 2015, he has only played seven games with the white ball for Yorkshire – three in the Blast, including Thursday, and four in 50-over cricket.

Coach Gale says a major reason for the 34-year-old’s absence has been the jam-packed county schedule, but now things are a little easier to manage with a player who has a T20 five-for to his name.

Brooks will bid to help the Vikings continue their winning start to the Blast tomorrow afternoon when they travel to Edgbaston to take on last year’s beaten finalists Birmingham Bears (2.30pm).

“Brooksy’s been wanting to play more white ball cricket, but with his workloads in Championship cricket and stuff it’s been difficult for us,” explained Gale.

“There’s been a few ahead of him in the pecking order as well. But we gave him an opportunity against Durham and he took it.

“He has been badgering me for games, and it’s about getting that balance right.

“We need him to play as many Championship games as possible because he’s a real asset in that format.

“With the way the scheduling is, it’s probably better for him now. He does get a bit of rest from Championship cricket, allowing him to play in the T20s.

“And he’s given us another headache now, which is great.”

Gale has also praised the Oxford-born former England Lion for his ability to evolve as a bowler.

“His white ball skills looked to have improved in training, although you never quite know until you see it out in a game,” he said.

“We have worked hard on his slower balls, and you saw that he wasn’t frightened of bowling a few bumpers. He’s tried to add that to his game, be a bit more aggressive.”

Birmingham have an impressive recent record in this competition – winners in 2014 and reached Finals Day in 2015 and 2017.

The Bears were beaten in last year’s final at Edgbaston by Nottinghamshire, although they gained revenge on Wednesday at Trent Bridge with a thumping opening night victory.

Captained by ex-New Zealand all-rounder Grant Elliott, playing on a Kolpak contract, their two overseas players are also Kiwi all-rounders in Jeetan Patel and Colin de Grandhomme.

Former Yorkshire youngster Will Rhodes is enjoying a productive first summer with the county having moved from Headingley in the winter.

“They’re a good team and had an impressive win on TV the other night at Notts,” added Gale. “But you know in T20 cricket that anybody’s dangerous.

“One man can win you a game. If you’re not quite at the races, you’ll come out with a loss.

“T20, as we know, is a game of confidence and momentum. We have both. We just need to keep it going.”

Meanwhile, Yorkshire say they have no plans to alter the date or timing of Wednesday’s home Blast tie with Derbyshire at Headingley (6.30pm) despite a clash with England’s World Cup football semi-final should they beat Sweden.