Tykes coach in positive mood

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Yorkshire’s 2013 season got underway at Headingley yesterday against Sussex - and coach Jason Gillespie believes that winning the County Championship would be a fitting way to mark the club’s 150th anniversary.

Former Australian bowler Gillespie said: “I get asked this question a lot and quite simply it would be the pinnacle (to win the Championship).

“This Club is built on Championship cricket and to be top of the pile at the end of the year would be very satisfying.

“There is a lot of cricket to be played between now and then, so it is important not to get carried away and look too far into the future.

“We need to build momentum and play disciplined cricket. If we do that then we can create our own history.”

Sheffield’s Joe Root was left out of the Yorkshire squad, on the ECB’s orders.

The Sheffield Collegiate product was a key member of the Yorkshire squad which sealed promotion from Division Two last season, and has since established himself in the England test side.

It is a catch-22 situation for Yorkshire, who will see less and less of their 22-year-old batsman - especially with Test series against New Zealand and Australia still to come this summer.

Root will be available for Yorkshire’s two-day friendly against Roses rivals Lancashire later this month, however.

England teammate Jonny Bairstow has been cleared to play against Sussex, however, and bowlers Liam Plunkett and Jack Brooks made their debuts for the county.

Young Alex Lees made his Championship bow, too, but made only six runs from 51 balls before being dismissed.

“We have added to the squad, which was important,” Gillespie added.

“We have strengthened our bowling options with the signings of Jack Brooks and Liam Plunkett and we have genuine chance of delivering when it matters.

“We can’t control expectations, but we can control our efforts and preparations.

“We’ve definitely got a squad that can compete for trophies this season.

“The top division of English cricket is very competitive, and every team is capable of beating all the others.

“That is the beauty of it.

“But it’s simple, really - I believe that we can win the County Championship.”