"Almost certainly the Good Lord decided one day as He watched his flock down below developing this quaint pastime of bat and ball, that it was altogether too gentle an occupation as initiated on Broad Ha'penny Down, developed on the playing fields of Eton and refined in the committee rooms of Lord's. It needed a catalyst, something to breathe fire and brimstone into the game. And so He looked with favour upon His chosen people for this role: Yorkshiremen."

Thus, with tongue barely scraping cheek, did that sardonic, spiky and frequently astute Test Match Special commentator Don Mosey characterise his fellow Tykes in a 1987 homage to the cricketers of God's own county. Not for nothing did the chummy Bill Edrich invariably greet "The Alderman" as "the bloody Yorkshireman". Pluperfect indeed was the title of that stirring and only partly blinkered tome, published shortly after the cessation of internecine hostilities that fuelled the club's freefall over the last third of the 20th century: We Don't Play It For Fun.

When he completed the book, two months into the first season of the post-Boycott era, Mosey was convinced the renaissance had begun - and how prescient he appeared a month later, when in their first Lord's final for 18 years they defeated Northamptonshire to take the Benson & Hedges Cup. Come 1988, however, the famine since their last County Championship title had grown to 20 summers, thanks in good part to a proud but misguidedly obstinate refusal to enlist foreign aid; not for a further 13 would the club see the back of the most fallow period in its history.

Even then, despondency soon returned: the following year saw Yorkshire County Cricket Club come within 48 hours of bankruptcy. Only now, in the wake of last week's rousing reclamation of the pennant, can it justly profess to be back where it so fervently believes it rightfully and properly belongs.

A strong Yorkshire is a strong England. So runs the time-stained, long-dishonoured cliché. For all the promise of last week's Championship triumph, the truth is decidedly less flattering. For a start, when Yorkshire were strongest, snaffling titles every season bar two from 1931 to 1939, England won the Ashes just once in four attempts.

Now consider the key contributors to the county's last Championship-winning campaign. Trailing streets behind Darren Lehmann, the most productive non-Australian batsmen were Matthew Wood; the captain, David Byas; and Michael Vaughan. Steve Kirby led the wicket-takers, ahead of Chris Silverwood, Richard Dawson, Ryan Sidebottom, Gavin Hamilton, Matthew Hoggard, and Craig White. Throw in Richard Blakey, Darren Gough, Michael Lumb and Anthony McGrath and that's 11 England men - Test and ODI, past and present - of whom Gough, Hoggard, Sidebottom, Vaughan and White all tasted glory. Still, Byas, Kirby and Wood never played Test cricket, and only Hoggard and Vaughan had regular roles in the most successful England Test team of modern times, the collective that compiled a 19-3 win-loss record under Vaughan from September 2003 to August 2005, in 28 Tests. And Vaughan, dash it all, was a bloody Lancastrian.

Compare that with their predecessors as White Rose champions, the combo that completed a hat-trick of pennants in 1968 under the fearlessly forthright leadership of Brian Close, the maverick's maverick. With Fred Trueman's brilliant flame finally expiring, only Geoff Boycott and Ray Illingworth were significant factors in the national team's second-longest undefeated sequence, spanning ten consecutive Test series from 1967 to 1971.

Paranoia runs deep in the Broad Acres. "The first conscious feeling a Yorkie must learn to recognise is that he is different," declared Don Mosey. "And nowhere is this most ostentatiously manifested than in the game of cricket"

In fact, it was during England's purplest reign - 14 unbeaten rubbers from 1951 to 1958 - that Yorkshire tasted their first pennant-free decade, amid a drought that stretched from 1950 until 1958. Only two Yorkies made Test centuries during the pomp of the Poms - Len Hutton and Willie Watson. Moreover, if we discount Jim Laker on the basis that he never actually represented his native shire, and pause to doff our caps to the luckless Bob Appleyard, only Trueman and Johnny Wardle took more than 31 wickets. During the second half of that run, and for decades thereafter, the Yorkshiremen most vital to the national cause were Headingley's zealously patriotic groundsmen.

As might be expected of the county that strung together seven consecutive titles from 1952 to 1958, Surrey (Peter May, Alec Bedser, Tony Lock and Laker) supplied more stalwarts to England Xis of the time. More surprisingly, Lancashire donated more fast bowlers than their arch-rivals (Brian Statham and Frank Tyson). Most of the other chief cogs were good ol' boys from south of Birmingham - Denis Compton, Trevor Bailey, Colin Cowdrey, Godfrey Evans, Tom Graveney and Peter Richardson.

Yet for all that, there's something about the current generation that hints at both substance and longevity. Five years hence, even if Liam Plunkett is past his sell-by date, the ECB's central contractees might well include upwards of half a dozen Yorkies: Gary Ballance, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, and those alliterative openers Adam Lyth and Alex Lees, perhaps joined by up-and-comers such as Azeem Rafiq, Jonathan Tattersall, Josh Shaw and Matthew Fisher, not forgetting the owner of that quintessential Yorkshire cricketing name, the current England Under-19 captain Will Rhodes.

Long gone, happily, are the days when representing Yorkshire took precedence over international duty, as exemplified during the inaugural official Championship season of 1890: with a match against Middlesex looming, Lord Hawke withdrew Bobby Peel and George Ulyett from the second Ashes Test. When I spoke to Wayne Clark amid the glow of that 2001 title, the coach was volubly gratified by the number of his charges who had been selected for the winter tour parties. "My whole philosophy is that if a team is successful, individual success follows, as those selections show. When an individual focuses on himself, he often doesn't succeed."

Whether his own revival can be traced to selflessness is open to question, but this season's most heartening Headingley headlines have concerned Rashid, who after fluffing some early lines may yet become the first Yorkshire cricketer of Asian stock to seduce international audiences.

During those initial, possibly premature, outings for England in 2009, this mercurial example of that newest and most radical of English cricketing phenomena, the legspinning allrounder, was last into the nets; these days, according to his county captain Andrew Gale, he's first. Between times he suffered the fate of so many unorthodox Yorkshiremen, mistrusted and scorned in equal measure. This time, though, the mistrust and scorn stemmed from his own kind.

Two summers ago he was dropped and publicly denounced by Boycott, who took issue with the long-running whispers and insisted he hadn't been mismanaged. Selection thereafter was fleeting, confidence shot. Another year like that, he predicted almost forlornly on the eve of the 2013 season, and he'd be "dropping down, down, down and gone". For once, the headline in the Daily Mail did not exaggerate: "Yorkshire are ruining me".

True, paranoia runs deep in the Broad Acres. "The first conscious feeling a Yorkie must learn to recognise is that he is different," declared Mosey. "And nowhere is this most ostentatiously manifested than in the game of cricket. Historically, we have always been the awkward squad. There has always been 'them' and they have never liked 'us'." History, nonetheless, points to occasional vindication.

In 1948, "rumour had it" that Alec Coxon traded punches with Compton during his maiden Test; never was the fast bowler summoned for another. Most notoriously, Close lost the England captaincy in 1967 after six wins in seven Tests, not because he had presided over a tardy over rate against Warwickshire but because the ex-public schoolboys running the show at Lord's wanted to restore one of their own, Colin Cowdrey, a consummate yes man. Allegations about Close punching a spectator found their way into the Sunday papers; proof has never been more than wafer-thin.

More than three decades later, as we discussed those sorry and often sordid events in an executive box overlooking the empty Headingley stands, Close's fury was undercut less by the passage of time than that Yorkshire superiority complex. "They got rid of me because I didn't conform," he proclaimed, chest swelling even as it groaned under the strain of yet another cigarette. "I had more brains in my little finger than Cowdrey and all the rest of them put together."

But what really hurt Close was being sacked as club captain in 1970. "I'd devoted me life to Yorkshire," he lamented. Yet the man whose autobiography was entitled I Don't Bruise Easily was adamant he bore no grudge. He even scolded me for turning up to our meeting sans tie or jacket: how disrespectful to a great British institution. The self-same institution that specialises like no other in civil war and came perilously close to squandering the gifts of Adil Rashid.

So, what has changed to restore Rashid's fortunes? Gale is not entirely self-effacing when it comes to apportioning the credit. As he informed Simon Wilde of the Sunday Times, "We give him the freedom to play." While Rashid himself concedes that marriage and fatherhood have also been boons, he expresses no less gratitude for Jason Gillespie's arrival as first XI coach. That familiarity with the ways and wiles of Warney has assuredly helped, but so, one heartily suspects, has the fact that Gillespie, like Clark, is not a Yorkshireman.

What unites the teams that claimed Yorkshire's 31st and 32nd County Championship crowns? The reflex answer is "Ryan Sidebottom". Without wishing to discredit anyone, least of all the curly-mopped left-armer who rose from Arnie's boy to best ruddy fast bowler on t' planet for a goodly chunk of 2007, an unpatriotic response seems more apposite: "Australians". Or, more accurately, "Outsiders".

Rob Steen is a sportswriter and senior lecturer in sports journalism at the University of Brighton. His book Floodlights and Touchlines: A History of Spectator Sport is out now