There is more at stake at Headingley today than County Championship points as the nation's top two teams come face to face. A single point divides Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire at the top of the First Division table but in terms of philosophy the clubs are light years apart.
While the White Rose county's investment in youth has paid rich dividends this season – Yorkshire regularly take to the field with nine or 10 home-grown players – Nottinghamshire's strength is built on talent imported from around the UK and indeed the world.
A quick look at Notts' England trio – Stuart Broad, who came from Leicestershire; Graeme Swann, brought in from Northamptonshire; and Ryan Sidebottom, who learnt his cricket in the Broad Acres – confirms that this is a club built on intelligent recruitment rather than native talent. The same is largely true of the side that has performed so well in the County Championship.
The situation could not be more different a little further north. Yorkshire's is a side with its roots deep in Tyke turf. The club's standout player has been the Whitby opening batsman Adam Lyth, who is averaging a touch over 62 in first-class cricket this season.
He is an unusual Yorkshireman, perhaps, in that he is an instinctively attacking batsman, the kind of player more commonly found in milder southern climes. Traditionalists need not fear, however: his opening partner Joe Sayers (who has not played in the first team for over a month following an asthma attack) could never be accused of flamboyance.
Notts would seem to have the upper hand going into this match – they have played one less game – were it not for last week's fearful 10-wicket thumping at the hands of Somerset in Taunton.
Somerset, who have their own title ambitions, provide Kent's opposition as Canterbury Cricket Week gets underway today. The final First Division match sees Hampshire welcome Durham to May's Bounty in Basingstoke in what could be described as a relegation 48-pointer.Reuse content