Olly Hannon-Dalby is looking forward to revisiting his native county next week when Warwickshire face Yorkshire in the inaugural first-class match to be played in York.
The Warwickshire team will enter new territory when the Specsavers County Championship game starts on Monday but Halifax-born seamer Hannon-Dalby is no stranger to Clifton Park.
He played six Second XI Championship games there for Yorkshire and enjoyed some success, his victims including Bears captain Michael Powell in 2007 and future Edgbaston team-mate Laurie Evans, then playing for Surrey, in 2008.
We beat the champions and then would probably have won again against Nottinghamshire if weather hadn’t robbed us of almost a day. But it was another dominant display and it was brilliant to see Adam Hose get his maiden ton.Olly Hannon-Dalby
OHD also banked match figures of 28-13-64-8 against MCC Universities at Clifton Park in 2012 while he has also tasted the cut and thrust of cup action there, for Barnsley against York in a Yorkshire League Knockout Cup quarter-final.
Next week, first-class cricket will arrive at the venue to which York CC, which traces its origins back to 1784, moved in 1967. It is a red-letter day for the club and the city and Hannon-Dalby is among many eagerly anticipating it.
“I was delighted when I saw we’d be playing at York,” he said. “I’ve played there a few times, the first time in 2007 when it was about my fourth or fifth game for Yorkshire 2nds, against Warwickshire. I remember Michael Powell and Vaughn van Jaarsveld were in the team.
“It’s a good club and usually a good batting pitch and York is a stunning city so it will be a fantastic place to play championship cricket. There is something special about outgrounds. We played at two last year – Tunbridge Wells and Colwyn Bay – and they were my favourite weeks of the season.”
Warwickshire will arrive in York in good form after two impressive home performances against Surrey and Nottinghamshire, displays in which Hannon-Dalby played his full part. This season the 29-year-old has shown his best form yet for the Bears, taking 13 championship wickets at 26.46 apiece and bowling with an accuracy which has built the pressure which brings wickets at the other end. That form has earned him an extension to his contract with the Bears.
“I have been pleased with my form,” he said. “I love playing red-ball cricket but in the last few years have been in and out of the side, and rightly so because I was in the queue behind quality bowlers like Keith Barker, Chris Wright, Boyd Rankin and Rikki Clarke.
“So to be in the team and taking the new ball is great. It is coming out nicely for me this season and it’s good to be part of a bowling unit which has worked really well in the last two games. My role is to hopefully take wickets but also stack up dot balls to try and build that pressure.
“Yorkshire are a strong side but we will go up there in very positive mood after two good performances .We beat the champions and then would probably have won again against Nottinghamshire if weather hadn’t robbed us of almost a day. But it was another dominant display and it was brilliant to see Adam Hose get his maiden ton. I was so pleased to be there for that.”
Next up is Clifton Park, where bowlers traditionally have their work cut out – although Hannon-Dalby can aim to follow in some (alleged) family footsteps.
“Batsmen usually start licking their lips when they head for York,” he said. “It tends to be a flat wicket and a fast outfield although my dad once took a six-for there. Or so he says…”