Sheffield, England – Yorkshire County Cricket Club will tonight mark the 150th anniversary of their formation with celebrations that concentrate almost exclusively on the first 105 years of their existence, a period during which they won 30 of their record 31 county championship titles.
Speakers at the Sesquicentennial Soiree being held in Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre are expected to highlight Yorkshire’s illustrious history as English cricket’s most successful domestic side by recounting a series of anecdotes that skilfully ignore the last 45 years of almost complete failure.
Guest speaker at the event, James Boothroyd, chairman of Yorkshire’s membership committee, explained the thoughts that had motivated his own speech.
“Professionalism, inspirational leadership, great players, crushing victories, these are just some of the things you’re reminded of when thinking about how the other seventeen counties have played against Yorkshire over the past few decades. That’s why I’m going to completely ignore the last 45 years and instead commemorate our amazing history of beating the amateurish sides those same counties fielded during the first 105 years of our existence. Seriously, some of them were terrible. You could pull eleven random guys from the audience tonight and they’d probably give the Northants team of the 1920’s a run for their money.”
However, club historian, Geoff Robinson, has a different view on Yorkshire’s recent past.
“The years since 1968 haven’t been completely without highlight. Some of our best infighting has been done during that time, as well as arguably the most sustained period of delusional self-importance ever produced by supporters of a struggling sports franchise. It’s that kind of pigheaded stubbornness in the face of reality which explains why the club has come to symbolise the very essence of what it is to be from Yorkshire.”
“God’s own cricket club” begin their latest championship campaign at Headingley on 10th April. They are currently second favourite with bookmakers to be relegated from division one.