August 26, 1963, Middledale, Kilham, Yorkshire
Left hand Bat
Right arm Medium
Straight-talking and uncompromising, David Byas was a professional farmer whose hobby just happened to be cricket. It was a mindset that allowed him to rise above the back-biting and in-fighting that characterised the Yorkshire dressing-room in the 1980s and `90s. After a decade's service as a robust opening batsman, he was appointed captain in 1996, and will forever be remembered as the captain who, in 2001, delivered Yorkshire their first County Championship title for 33 years. It ought to have been his crowning glory, but instead he was driven into an early retirement as the politicking of the Yorkshire committee eventually caught up with him. He was so incensed by his marginalisation that he did the unthinkable, and defected across the Pennines to join Lancashire for the 2002 season. He couldn't stay away from Yorkshire for long, however, and returned to Headingley in 2004 as their new head coach. The internal politics forced him out of a job in 2006, however, when Yorkshire lured Chris Adams to become their captain and director of cricket - only for Adams to perform a u-turn and turn down the opportunity. Byas left the club the following January, by mutual consent, ending a 20-year association.
Cricinfo staff January 2007
Batting & Fielding