Yorkshire followers stunned by Tuesday's draconian decision to play only at Headingley and Scarborough in future should steel themselves for another shock: Yorkshire may do without an overseas professional next season.
The protracted negotiations with Sachin Tendulkar will almost certainly collapse because of the next Indian captain's unavailability next season. India's Test schedule means that they will not leave the West Indies until the end of May, and Tendulkar might be required again before September.
With Michael Bevan visiting these shores in 1997 with Australia, Yorkshire, rather than sign a player who is less than world class, may opt to do without next year before re-signing the Australian for 1998. All counties have agreed to dispense with foreign players in the World Cup year of 1999.
Not that making Scarborough the only out-ground will be wholly popular with the Yorkshire players. Five of the 10 highest match aggregates in the county's history have been reached here, and the two Championship matches here have been regarded, all summer, as an impediment to Championship ambitions.
This is why Andy Fogarty was called from Headingley to help with the preparation and why David Byas, taking heart from a greenish surface, sent in Somerset. In fact, the only difference from the usually flat, slow track is a little extra bounce. Twelve overs were lost to overnight rain, play continued all day in a cold half-gale off the North Sea, and Yorkshire added to their handicaps by dropping two catches.
Somerset began with 86 off 27 overs, their best Championship start, before Peter Hartley, returning after lunch and seaming the ball, won two decisions against the openers. Keith Parsons was then dropped at second slip when five, off Chris Silverwood, and Richard Harden, when 18, dropped off Hartley, the ball diverting from keeper through slips. The third wicket went on to raise 122 in 39 overs, grim stuff for most of the afternoon as Yorkshire, especially Silverwood, kept beating the bat.
Twenty-nine of the runs came in three overs after tea before Darren Gough thrashed out a little more bounce and pace, with Parsons mis-hitting to midwicket and Andrew Hayhurst being caught bang in front off successive balls. Harden's defiance ended when the next chance went to the best slip.
Shane Lee failed to clear the midwicket boundary as Silverwood contributed another sustained spell of cleverly varied seam bowling.Reuse content