Yorkshire seamer Jack Brooks writes about his side's quest for trophies this season, his enjoyment at seeing good mate Liam Plunkett get his England call and his own international ambitions.
It's been a good start to the season from a Yorkshire perspective. We’re near the top of Division One and we’ve played some really good, positive cricket.
The bowlers have worked well as a unit and the guys have been getting runs, while I’m one of the leading wicket-takers in championship cricket, so I couldn’t really ask for more than that.
We don't want to put too much pressure on ourselves. There’s enough outside pressure anyway, especially playing for Yorkshire. But you just look at our squad of players, it’s incredibly talented.
Last year it hurt not winning County Championship Division One. We came so close and in another year we probably would have won with the amount of points we got.
You’ve just got to start again. You know when you come into pre-season you have to be better than the previous year if you want to go one better.
It would be fantastic to bring a trophy back to Yorkshire this year. We’ve got a squad that is certainly capable of winning trophies. Hopefully we can get over the line.
On a personal note, I’ve not done much bowling practice at all in the last couple of weeks because I’ve bowled so much in matches, and the day off I get is literally just a day off.
That means I haven't bowled to Aaron Finch in the nets yet. But I’ve had a chance to watch him and all the other lads have gone around the ground, and hit out of the ground, in training.
Obviously he sparkled with the 80-odd against Lancashire in the recent T20 which was good to watch, but I haven’t had the honour of being dispatched around the park by him yet so hopefully I can keep avoiding that!
Aaron has been quite vocal in the changing room at the end of games and with his thoughts on the game in general. He’s a self-confessed cricket nut, a bit of a geek, which is only going to help you.
He obviously wants to better himself and play Test cricket so that’s why he wanted to play championship cricket here. He fits in perfectly.
Losing Kane (Williamson) was always going to be a big loss but Aaron’s come in and made a seamless transition to the team. Hopefully they can play together for a few T20s when Kane comes back.
We have two absolutely top-notch overseas players that the guys can learn from and they’re really good guys to have around the changing room as well.
The Roses match I've mentioned was unbelievable - it was like a cup final atmosphere.
It was my first experience of an away Roses game and if you don’t play international cricket, that sort of game and atmosphere is the closest you’re going to get, really.
Fair play to everyone who comes and makes it a cracking atmosphere and gets involved in the passion of the derby game. That’s what Twenty20 is all about.
It wasn’t so much fun for me going for 40-odd off four overs but it’s part of the game. You half expect to get whacked every now and again.
I was chuffed to see a good friend of mine Liam Plunkett get an England call-up.
I know Liam very well. I’ve lived with him for a year and got quite close to him in the squad. We both signed at the same time and we’ve trained together in the gym, and days off we spend some time together.
It’s good to see someone who puts in so much effort and hard work get back in the England set-up. It helps that he’s enjoying his cricket again. He’s admitted that he’s loved the Yorkshire set-up, like myself.
When you can bowl at 90mph, hit the ball out of the ground and can catch pigeons, then you’re a special cricketer. He just needed to start enjoying the game and keep himself on the park, which he has done.
Liam's Test recall gives hope to everyone.
The new set-up is willing to look at guys on form so those who perform well in the championship know they have half a chance of getting in the squad or a tour somewhere along the line.
I think I’m like anyone else in the country in that I want to play for my country.
I was lucky enough to spend some time in the England set-up with the Lions a few years ago. I did well there but I’ve not been able to get back in since.
I’ve carried on taking wickets and got myself fit and strong, stronger than ever, but I’m not going to worry about what’s going on.
I’m just going to go out there and do well for Yorkshire and try take wickets. If anything further happens then absolutely fantastic, but I’m not going to sit and worry about it.
On England, it was fantastic to see Joe Root get a double hundred against Sri Lanka at Lord's.
Joe’s done fantastic. From the time he started playing for England, everyone knew he was class. He’ll be around the England set-up for a long time.
Probably since last summer he’s lost a bit of form but he’s come back in for the first Test of the summer and he’s got 200 not out. He’s going to score a lot of runs for England over the next few years.