Andrew Gale says preparations for 2019 begin with the Abu Dhabi T20, which starts for Yorkshire tomorrow evening against Lahore Qalandars.
The Vikings face a side who have struggled in the first three years of the Pakistan Super League (5pm UK) under lights at the international Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Lahore, like most teams involved over the next three days, are missing some of their established players, but they will field veteran duo Abdul Razzaq and Imran Nazir alongside overseas trio Mitch McClenaghan, Nuwan Kulasekara and Phil Salt.
Gale has no injury concerns in his travelling 14-man squad and has told them performances here could have an impact on selection for next year.
…said the coach.
“You want to test your skills against some of the best players in the world.
“Every game counts. If they have a good game here, they put their names in the hat for next season.
“You only need one or two performances to convince the captain or myself that they can do it at this level.
“There are definitely places up for grabs.”
Yorkshire arrived in the UAE on Monday evening and have only trained once, owed much to tired bodies following a gruelling end to the County Championship season.
“It’s really, really hot, and we probably underestimated how hot it is out here, 40 degrees,” said Gale.
“It’s been tough, but the lads have trained really well and kept up a high intensity.
“We’re looking forward to tomorrow night.
“We might be a little bit ahead of the game having just come off the back of a tough season.
“Most other teams are just going into their season. They’ll be fresher mentally, but we should be better skill wise. It’s an exciting prospect.”
Given the majority of teams have come with a young squad – on paper, Yorkshire and South African champions the Titans look the strongest – Gale says that makes it a challenge to prepare for games.
“It’s going to be tough because we usually like to look at stats surrounding the opposition,” he said.
“We don’t know too much about Lahore and the players they’ve got on display apart from their overseas players, but they’ll be in the same boat as well.
“We just have to have a clear mind and execute our game plan.
“There are some fatigued bodies about, but for me this tournament is about expressing yourself and playing some entertaining cricket on a big stage.”
Captain Steve Patterson celebrated his 35th birthday today and attended a pre-tournament press conference.
“It’s a little bit different to what we’re used to,” he said.
“It’s a new competition, a bit suck it and see. But the lads are excited to get out there.
“It’s more of an opportunity, especially for some of the younger guys with all these competitions around the world. It’s a great chance for them to go out there and make a name for themselves – to perform against some strong opposition.
“Hopefully they can get people to take note.
“Perhaps everybody has come here with different intentions, but we get on well as a team and want to do well. If we can have a successful weekend, it will help those lads individually.”
All games will be televised: Freeview channel 95, Sky 422, Virgin 533, Freesat 252, TalkTalk TV 95, BT 95.