YORKSHIRE’S cricketers will take on some of the finest players in the world this week as their main Twenty20 Champions League campaign begins.
Yorkshire, who qualified for the latter stages of the lucrative competition after winning both their qualifying games against UVA Next and Trinidad and Tobago, face Sydney Sixers tomorrow (11.30am).
The Sixers, captained by Australian Brad Haddin, also boast the services of big-hitting Shane Watson, as well as former Yorkshire stars Michael Lumb and Mitchell Starc.
The games certainly don’t get any easier for Yorkshire, either.
On Thursday, they face the Mumbai Indians (3.30pm) - who have Sachin Tendulkar, undoubtedly one of the greatest players ever to have graced the game, on their roster.
Such opportunities will be relished by the members of Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale’s young squad - several of which boast South Yorkshire links.
Joe Root, of course, came through the ranks at Sheffield Collegiate CC and will look to cement his reputation as one of the brightest young talents in English cricket.
“We’ve got a squad with a lot of lads aged around 23 and under,” said Root, himself still only 21.
“And that can only work in our favour. We’ve got a lot of confidence.”
Azeem Rafiq and Gary Balance, both former players at Barnsley CC, have also helped propel Yorkshire into the latter stages of the Champions League - which carries a prize pot of $2.5m for the winners (£1.54m).
Yorkshire, however, are without David Miller for the first three games due to domestic commitments.