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Firdose Moonda at Centurion
October 10, 2012
Yesterday, David Miller. Today, Gary Ballance. Tomorrow, maybe Adil Rashid, who has stood alongside both as they engineered Yorkshire's victory. The ability to lean on any of the members of their squad is what captain Andrew Gale thinks will make Yorkshire strong opponents in the main draw of the Champions League.
"It was a fantastic effort from us in both matches," Gale said. "Throughout the competition we are going to come up against real international stars. We've got a really good team spirit. We've done exceptionally well in the domestic competition and we are ready to take on the big stage."
Yorkshire's only overseas player, Miller, will only be available for them come the semi-final which means the team will rely on the home-grown resources and nothing else. Gale's message to his team is to make the most of their opportunity in the tournament proper and not worry about meeting any expectations, because they have already fulfilled them.
"We're looking forward to the rollercoaster. We're going to playing against some of the guys that we watch on TV. We're going to go in with a no-fear attitude and see where it takes us. Even if we lose every single game, that's okay."
Yorkshire's first game will be against the Sydney Sixers and Gale said they were looking forward to playing Mitchell Starc, who was a key part of Yorkshire's T20 squad earlier this year. Next they face the Mumbai Indians, who Gale had a little dig at because of the nature of the IPL franchises.
"We know that some of the teams have been thrown together but we have played together all season," he said. "We don't fear anyone. We can just go into the main tournament with our head held high."
With Hampshire out of the contention, Gale said Yorkshire also see their role as "carrying the flag for English cricket".
Trinidad and Tobago will have no such similar role for West Indies, as they were culled in their first match. With all the goodwill surrounding West Indies cricket after their victory in the World T20 on Sunday, perhaps T&T's exit from the Champions League will not be taken that hard. Denesh Ramdin did not cut too sorry a figure afterwards and simply admitted that things did not go their way.
"We didn't execute our plans as we wanted to," Ramdin said. "We lost early wickets and then we tried to get a partnership, but we didn't execute as well come the latter stages either. We should have prepared better mentally coming to South Africa where the bounce is different."
Although five of the T&T squad were in Sri Lanka until yesterday, Ramdin did not think that affected the team's build-up. "The rest of the guys had one practice game and they lost but I told them to keep their heads up high. All of these guys are professional and we have some very young players as well so hopefully we can take some experience from this and when we go back home we can work on that."
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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