Gale excited by Yorkshire prospects
Andrew Gale insists Yorkshire are not in South Africa for the Champions League T20 to just “make up the numbers”.
The White Rose qualified for the showpiece by virtue of being losing finalists in this summer's Friends Life t20, which was won by Hampshire.
To achieve success, Yorkshire face a long road that starts with tomorrow’s first qualifying match against UVA Next as they look to reach the tournament proper.
That in itself will represent a challenge - something Gale is all too aware of.
“The target is to get to the group stage; we do not just want to be here 10 days,” he told ecb.co.uk. “We want to be playing in the proper competition and playing for the main reward and big trophy.
“We are obviously underdogs going into this competition - there are some fantastic teams in it - but we have got nothing to lose.
“We feel in good form and cannot wait to get started. There will be tough games, but when you come this far and play in the Champions League, you are not going to be playing against rabbits.
“We are not here to just make the numbers up; if we play like we did in the domestic competition then we can go far.”
Gale expecting his troops to cause a splash is understandable when you consider their unexpected efforts in England’s domestic Twenty20 competition.
“It is fantastic (to be in the Champions League) and what dreams are made of,” he added.
“We were obviously disappointed to lose in the (Friends Life) t20 final, but to come to South Africa and play against some of the best Twenty20 sides in the world is a great experience.
“We worked our plans out right from the beginning of pre-season last year in Barbados and we play our cricket in a fearless nature. You could see that all the way through, particularly in the fielding.
“One of the main things was the fact the younger players knew their games better in Twenty20 cricket; the likes of (Azeem) Rafiq, (Moin) Ashraf, (Joe) Root and (Gary) Ballance all found some form in the competition.”
One of those aformentioned youngsters, spinner Rafiq, is understandably excited about enhancing his burgeoning reputation.
“I’m really looking forward to it and the lads are really excited,” he admitted. “Obviously, the season has not ended for us and hopefully we can get into the proper tournament.
“I think if we play the way we played throughout the tournament here in England we can hopefully get in the proper tournament and play against the big boys.”