Birmingham Bears seam-bowler Olly Hannon-Dalby will look to hand out more NatWest T20 Blast misery to his old team-mates when Yorkshire Vikings visit Edgbaston on Friday.
Halifax-born Hannon-Dalby graduated through the Headingley system before leaving to join the Bears early in 2013.
The 26-year-old has no hard feelings at all towards his former club. He just saw the writing on the wall and moved on when he found himself behind the likes of Jack Brooks, Liam Plunkett and Ryan Sidebottom in the pecking order.
But he admits a tussle with the county of his birth will always be that little bit special.
“It does have that extra element for me to play Yorkshire,” said Hannon-Dalby. “I was there from the age of 15 through to pro and am still in touch with some of the guys – and yes I want to beat them. I want the bragging rights.”
Hannon-Dalby was instrumental in the Bears’ six-wicket win over the Vikings at Edgbaston in the Blast last season. He took two for 27, removing Andrew Hodd as the visitors collapsed to 36 for five then returning to end a dangerous counter-attack from Tim Bresnan.
Chasing a meagre 132, Birmingham were powered to victory by Tim Ambrose (46 from 38 balls), William Porterfield (42 from 39) and Laurie Evans (32 not out from 25).
Something similar on Friday would be just the job for Birmingham as they seek to make it three wins out of four in the Blast this season.
“The Vikings brought a really strong side to Edgbaston last season so it was a great win for us,” said Hannon-Dalby. “I remember Recordo Gordon bowled brilliantly here, there was a big crowd and the atmosphere was pumping. It was a really good Edgbaston day.
“But we went up there, albeit after we had qualified, and lost at their place in the group so we owe them one for that.
“They will have some players missing this time but have such depth to the squad they will still have a very strong side so we will have to be at our best.”
And if the Bears win, with a starring role from Hannon-Dalby, the Edgbaston dressing-room may well resonate post-match to the sounds of ‘Delilah’ – not the Tom Jones version but the OHD rendition.
Hannon-Dalby has chosen ‘Delilah’ as the anthem to which he will walk out to bat in T20 – and he has performed the song himself before, to an appreciative, if slightly rum-soaked, audience.
“It has got nice memories for me,” he said, “because just after I joined the Bears we went on pre-season tour to Barbados and on the last night of the trip we were in a bar where there was a karaoke competition.
“Jim Troughton and I got to the final and Jim sang ‘Johnny Be Good’ and I sang ‘Delilah’ – and I won! The locals seemed to like it!
“That whole trip was a great welcome to life as a Bear and it’s turned out to be a great move for me. I love it at the club.”
Tickets for Birmingham Bears v Yorkshire Vikings at Edgbaston on Friday 10 June are available at £19 for adults until midnight tonight (£23 on the gate). Under 16s go FREE at all times when accompanied by an adult.
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