YORKSHIRE launch into a new County Championship season tomorrow when they tackle last year’s champions, Durham at the Riverside ground.
Having beaten Durham convincingly in the Friends Provident Trophy match on Sunday, new skipper Anthony McGrath will be looking for a double in the North-East in the first four-dayer of 2009.
The last three seasons have seen Yorkshire struggling at the wrong end of the table, finishing sixth twice and seventh once (only just avoiding relegation) and McGrath and the county’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon will be keen to see some improvement this summer.
McGrath should be able to send a full-strength side, which includes Michael Vaughan (who made a useful 43 on Sunday), although if the former England skipper’s form continues to improve, Yorkshire may well lose him back to the national team.
A 113-year-old bat used by WG Grace is to go under the hammer at an auction at Sotheby’s in London next month and is expected to fetch up to £30,000.
English cricket legend Grace was using the bat when he brought up his 1,000th Test run in a match against Australia at Lord’s in June 1896.
Grace later gave it to his Australian opponent Syd Gregory, who passed it on to fellow tourist and brother in law Harry Donnan.