They have been the top dogs of English cricket’s County Championship for the last two years.But, ahead of their bid to complete a famous hat-trick in the four-day format, loyalties have been split at Yorkshire County Cricket Club by an impending big domestic football final at Wembley.
Barnsley and Oxford United will contest the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final, which marks 10 years of sponsorship from the leading paint manufacturer, at Wembley on Sunday 3rd April, and both teams have their share of support amongst the staff at Headingley.
Yorkshire President Dickie Bird and Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon head up the Barnsley-supporting contingent while, in the opposite corner, opening bowler Jack Brooks will be backing Oxford all the way in next month’s final.
Dickie Bird said: “I’ve been a huge Barnsley fan man and boy and have seen many highs and lows. To see the team come out at Wembley will be a very proud moment and I’m confident we will lift the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
“Jack and the other Oxford fans here are also pretty confident but they make them tough in Yorkshire and the Barnsley boys will come out on top!”
Brooks, the 31-year-old born in Oxford, said: “It’s brilliant how it’s worked out and there has been plenty of banter flying around at Headingley.
“I’m one of the few people in Yorkshire who will actually want Oxford to win this game.
“Dickie and the other Barnsley fans are pretty confident but we are on good form. Barnsley are a league higher but I think we are playing well enough to cause an upset.
“If we do win the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, it will certainly give me bragging rights for the rest of the cricket season – and beyond!”
The final will represent the culmination of the celebrations of the 10th season of partnership between leading paint manufacturer Johnstone’s and The Football League.