The Professional Cricketers’ Association held one of their past player days at Headingley on Thursday, coinciding with the third day of Yorkshire’s LV= County Championship match against Nottinghamshire.

Many famous names from Yorkshire’s past, including a smattering of ex-players from other counties, were there to see Jacques Rudolph brilliantly drag the hosts out of the mire and keep their title dream alive.

What the likes of Brian Close, Ray Illingworth and John Hampshire thought of the South African’s elegant 141 would have been interesting.

The PCA said over 100 past players were present – other names on the list included David Graveney, Paul Jarvis, Richard Kettleborough, Richard Blakey and Paul Hutchison.

Left-arm quick bowler Hutchison, who took 7-50 on his County Championship debut against Hampshire in 1997, went on England A tours to Kenya and Sri Lanka in the winter of 1997-98.

He would no doubt have caught up with former White Rose team-mate Ryan Sidebottom on Thursday, having played with him before moving on to Sussex and Middlesex.

The PCA day also coincided with a signing session of Andrew Collomosse’s excellent book ‘The Magnificent Seven’, which charts Yorkshire’s seven Championship titles and two Gillette Cup wins between 1959 and 1969.

Fifteen of the surviving players to have featured in that period of success have contributed to the book, apart from Geoffrey Boycott.

Either one or two of them look after a different year, while Illingworth has written the foreword and Close the afterword.

Batsman Bryan Stott, for example, contributes to 1959, the first win after Surrey’s years of dominance, ex-England wicketkeeper Jimmy Binks to 1964 and former England off-spinner Geoff Cope talks about 1967.

Batsman John Hampshire, also a former umpire of some repute, talks about 1963. He says about the book: “It’s excellent. It’s a pretty true reflection of Yorkshire cricket both on and off the field in that period of time. It was a unique period and I doubt that it will ever be done again.

“There were some very good players playing for Yorkshire at that time and I don’t necessarily put myself in that category. You had Close, Trueman, Illingworth, Binks et al. It was a very special time to be involved with this club.”

Hampshire played eight Test matches for England, scoring 107 on debut against the West Indies in June 1969. He scored 28,059 runs and went on to stand as an umpire in international cricket between 1989 and 2001.

He has umpired 21 Tests in places such as Manchester, Karachi, Peshawar and Perth. He even stood in Sachin Tendulkar’s Test debut at Karachi in November 1989.

The little Indian master, a former Yorkshire overseas player, this week broke the world record for most appearances in Test cricket – a mammoth 168. He has scored over 13,700 runs in that format and over 17,500 in 442 one-day internationals.

Hampshire said: “There’s only one word to describe Sachin and that’s ‘outstanding’. It’s not just the fact that he’s played more Tests than anybody else, it’s also the fact that he’s just a super fella.

“He reminds me so much of Garfield Sobers. I don’t think there’s ever been a better cricketer than him but his feet have remained on the floor. It’s the same with Tendulkar, he’s such a super chap to know.

“If I was to see him in an airport somewhere, he’d always acknowledge you. He wasn’t the type of person to stand around talking for hours but he’d always have something pleasant to say.

“He’d already scored a hundred in the one-day series before his Test debut. I think, incidentally, that Test was also Waqar Younis’ Test debut, while Wasim Akram had only played about four Tests.

“To do those Tests over there between India and Pakistan with John Holder was such a fabulous experience. It was such a phenomenal time for Asian cricket. I tend not to dwell on things like that too much but I have to say that it was a great honour to do that.

“There were four back-to-back Tests, with around two days in between each one. There was a tremendous intensity and pressure, for the umpires as well as the players. But my theory is that if you can bat at number four for Yorkshire, you can just about handle anything.”

Although Hampshire does not think Yorkshire’s past achievements will ever be matched, who knows? We could one day be reading about similar exploits from a special side led by Andrew Gale.

‘The Magnificent Seven’ is published by Great Northern books and is widely available for £16.99.

Yorkshire are aware of a potential clash of dates later this season regarding the one-day international between England and Pakistan at Headingley on Sunday, September 12 and the Clydesdale Bank 40 semi-finals the day before.

At this stage it would seem unlikely that Headingley would be able to host both matches due to the requirement of England and Pakistan to train the day before.

The White Rose county are exploring alternative plans, although playing a match at Scarborough is unlikely because Sky Sports, who will want to show the contest, have not got the space to do a live broadcast from North Marine Road.

All of this depends, however, on Yorkshire’s qualification for the last four as well as securing a home draw.