CAPTAIN Andrew Gale says Yorkshire’s 2012 squad want to become legends in their own right and follow the shining example set by former Tykes star Don Wilson.
Club legend Wilson passed away aged 74 last weekend, the former left-arm spinner having won seven County Championships with Yorkshire between 1959 and 1968 as he established himself as one of the county’s greats along with the likes of Geoffrey Boycott and Fred Trueman.
The White Rose county is steeped in tradition, but Gale feels now is the time for big names to emerge from the current set up.
Yorkshire have not won anything since the Friends Provident Trophy back in 2002 but as today’s Division Two County Championship clash at Leicestershire gets underway, the Tykes are chasing a potential 2012 double.
Gale’s side are already through to the Friends Life t20 finals day and victory in this weekend’s clash at Grace Road would also leave the Tykes as strong contenders for the County Championship Division Two crown.
Gale – saddened by the death of Wilson last weekend – admits his current squad are some way off being compared to the county’s greats of yesteryear, but the Yorkshire skipper is determined for that to change.
“I think all the lads appreciate what great players have been at this club before,” said Gale. “But I think we want to create our own history as well and be legends just like people like Don Wilson and the Boycotts and the Truemans and these sorts of guys.
“To get some silverware this season would be massive for me personally and for the team.
“We’ve worked hard right from pre-season to try and achieve something this year and we’re in a good position in both the Twenty20 and the County Championship. These next two weeks are massive in the destiny of our season.”
Gale’s men are regarded as big favourites to land a victory at Matthew Hoggard’s Leicestershire this weekend with the Grace Road outfit currently rock bottom of Division Two.
The Tykes also approach the clash on the crest of a wave following Wednesday night’s Friends Life t20 quarter-final victory against Worcestershire at Headingley Carnegie. The success booked Yorkshire their first ever place at t20 finals day but Gale will not settle for a last-four slot.
“It’s great to get the monkey off our backs,” said Gale, whose men will play Sussex in their semi-final at Sophia Gardens on Saturday, August 25. “Every interview I do about T20 ends up being about us not reaching finals day before so now that we are there we want to go and win it.”
Before then, attention turns to the County Championship with Yorkshire currently sat third – three points behind second-placed Hampshire with a further 22 points to leaders Derbyshire.
The Tykes also visit fifth-placed Northamptonshire in the County Championship for a four-day game which starts next Wednesday and Gale feels back-to-back league wins are crucial.
“This is a big two weeks for us,” admitted Gale. “We play Leicester and Northants both away and we’ve got to go to those grounds and get a result.
“Hampshire won last Sunday so that’s put a bit of pressure on us as well as they have gone above us. We’ve got to start winning four-day games if we get the weather.”