Do Yorkshire Miss Hoggy?

As the County Championship came to a close at the end of the 2009 season here in England, it became clear that two parties synonymous which each other were due to part acrimoniously.

Matthew Hoggard (pictured above) was nearing the end of his contract with his local club, Yorkshire, with whom he had spent over 15 years representing and claiming approximately 650 wickets in the process.

A relationship which had always appeared to be fruitful, had become tenuous, as both parties appeared to want differing things. Ambition appeared to be central to the disagreement with Hoggy (his nickname) allegedly wanting to captain the Tykes’ (Yorkshire nickname) side.

Ambition is obviously a key quality to any sportsman and his/her development to the highest level but with this Hoggy wanted to secure his long-term future for him and his family as he approached his 33rd birthday.

This coupled with Yorkshire’s need to reduce overheads and looking to take a new focus within the team, offered Matthew a shorter deal than he appeared to want. This left Hoggy looking for pastures new.

It had to be said, as a Yorkshire fan, that no-one man is bigger than the team as the old cliché goes, but this was something many fans did not want let alone expect to happen.

Where would Hoggy ply his trade now? Would he miss Yorkshire? Would they miss him?

Then in November 2009, after several counties were reputed to have courted the services of Hoggy, he joined Leicestershire on a three-year deal whilst securing the captaincy of the Division Two side.

He seemed delighted to have secured what he had clearly wanted and stated; “I’m genuinely excited about the prospect of joining Leicestershire and taking charge of a young and talented squad”, upon signing for the team.

This left Yorkshire with a dilemma, a dilemma that showed they would rather have kept Hoggy than have to attract the services of a carbon copy replacement. They courted several internationally recognised pace bowlers but failed for several reasons.

The county had a promising bowling attack but they obviously required some experience to compliment the growing reputations of the likes of; Tim Bresnan (pictured below), Adil Rashid and Ajmal Shahzad, to name but three of the counties bowling unit.

Reputed deals for; Iain O’Brien, Ryan Harris and Daryl Tuffey fell by the way side, before in the past few days, the county settled on West Indies pace man, Tino Best (yes him of the Freddie ‘watch for the windows’ sledging incident).

It appeared after Hoggy moved to the foxes (Leicestershire nickname), all three involved parties were satisfied, but this was before a ball had even been hit for four in the County Championship, a mere six-month away.

Well, April 2010 came and the County Championship begun, both teams recorded wins in the opening round of championship fixtures and as the evening sessions have just concluded in the second round of fixtures, both teams have secured two wins out of two and top their prespective divisions, with Hoggard now clocking up 7 wickets in his opening 2 games.

This goes to show that both Yorkshire and Hoggy, without admitting to it, needed to part for the greater good of both and it appears for the good of the game in this country.

I truly hope, as a Yorkshire fan and as a big fan of Hoggy, that this rich vein of form continues throughout the season and both sides have the chance to experience success in 2010.

Hoggard appears to have turned round the fortunes of the 2009 County Championships bottom side along with the hard work of fellow Yorkshireman, Tim Boon, Head Coach for the foxes.

Boon is obviously delighted with the development of his new skipper, stating; “Matthew’s still got the wow factor”, we all knew that would never leave his repertoire didn’t we?

Good luck to Yorkshire and Leicestershire this season and I for certain would love to see them match up against each other in the 2011 County season.

I wouldn’t bet against it happening? Fingers are firmly crossed.

Cheers for reading and I hope you are enjoying the great start to the County Championship.

Gaffers

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2 Responses to “Do Yorkshire Miss Hoggy?”

  1. Preben Walle Says:

    Interesting article, and I hope we’re in for a thrilling County Championship season.
    Must also praise your writing ability, and your ability to write about interesting subjects 🙂 Have loved reading your blog for the last couple of weeks, keep it up 🙂

    • gafferssportsblog Says:

      Thanks for your comment Preben,

      I think after the start to the County Championship season we are definitely in for a thrilling season.

      Appreciate you reading my work, Cheers, Gaffers

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