They were no doubt wondering in Lancashire - and further afield for that matter - how Wasim Akram would be replaced this summer. Steve Elworthy, the South African all-rounder hired for that unenviable task, offered a few hints here yesterday.
Appearing when Lancashire were 67 for 6 and, with the ball still seaming about, he rode his early luck, dropped anchor and when he was last out at 212 had made a career-best 88 with no little flourish.
To complete the Wasim picture, Elworthy should ideally have then gone on to break a finger or two, maybe have a brush with an umpire and finish with something like 7 for 40; but that was never in the script, not at his pace on a pitch made easier by benevolent sunshine.
Instead, with half an eye on the testing days to come, he was content to bowl 11 overs well within himself, concentrating on length and line but, bringing the ball down from well above 6ft, still able to reveal an accurate bouncer which, sparingly used, could be a potent weapon.
As a batsman, Elworthy no doubt found his Lancashire League experience useful in coping with the moving ball. Equally important, though, was his ability to play straight and his self-discipline, qualities which eluded many of his colleagues and gave Yorkshire regular rewards for a spirited bowling and fielding display.
Later, as batting became more straightforward and some of Yorkshire's inexperience betrayed itself, Elworthy produced exotic strokes off front and back foot, reaching his half-century with a hook for six. A century seemed there for the taking when he under-clubbed an off-break to be caught on the boundary, but he had more than made his point.
n Glamorgan took their century tally to four in their match against Cambridge University, which petered out into a draw at Fenner's after the morning's play was lost to drizzle.
The Glamorgan captain, Matthew Maynard, hit exactly 100 before retiring because of his troublesome back strain. Maynard, 66 overnight, hit a six and 12 fours in a 92-ball century.
Steve James followed his captain in reaching an unbeaten 102 against his old university, hitting eight fours in 136 balls.Reuse content