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NFL’s Minnesota Vikings join forces with cricket’s Yorkshire Vikings

DIFFERENT BALL GAMES: Yorkshire players Liam Plunkett, Jack Brooks and Phil Jaques with Minnesota players Kyle Rudolph, Harrison Smith and John Sullivan and Vikings. PIC: Simon Hulme

DIFFERENT BALL GAMES: Yorkshire players Liam Plunkett, Jack Brooks and Phil Jaques with Minnesota players Kyle Rudolph, Harrison Smith and John Sullivan and Vikings. PIC: Simon Hulme

They’re sports that are normally divided by about 3,000 miles of the Atlantic Ocean.

Yesterday, however, cricket and American football came together at Headingley Carnegie stadium in Leeds.

The occasion was a meet-up between members of the newly-christened Yorkshire Vikings cricket side and their near-namesakes from the gridiron game, the Minnesota Vikings – and the result was a definite case of mutual sporting admiration.

Yorkshire star Liam Plunkett said: “I’m a big American sports fan. To have high-profile NFL players from the Minnesota Vikings come to our club is a great initiative and gives us some great momentum going into the new season.”

The other Yorkshire players involved yesterday were Jack Brooks and Phil Jaques, while Kyle Rudolph, Harrison Smith and John Sullivan were the Minnesota favourites on parade.

Sullivan said: “This is a great tie-up between two big sports organisations in Minnesota and Yorkshire.

“I will certainly be following the Yorkshire team this year via social media and hope they have a big season.” The Minnesota players are in the UK ahead of the launch of a behind-the-scenes Sky Sports series about their club.

They are also promoting their game with the Pittsburgh Steelers at Wembley at the end of September.

* Yorkshire County Cricket Club announced earlier this month that they would be known as Yorkshire Vikings in one-day cricket from the start of the 2013 season.

Commercial director Andy Dawson said it was hoped the new brand would help take the club to a wider audience and open up new revenue streams.

 
 
 

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