Yorkshire become Vikings for the new season

First published in Sport

Yorkshire are set to announce that Vikings will be part of their new name in limited overs cricket from the new season onwards.

The White Rose county will hold a launch at the Jorvik Centre in York today after replacing Carnegie, whose sponsorship ran out at the end last October's Champions League t20 campaign in South Africa.

Options considered for the Yorkshire Bank 40 and the Friends Life t20 competitions were the Yorkshire Thunder, Steel, Tykes, Terriers and even Whippets as part of a fan's poll on their official website.

But it will be the Yorkshire Vikings facing the likes of Lancashire Lightning, Gloucestershire Gladiators, Middlesex Panthers, Durham Dynamos and Nottinghamshire Outlaws this summer.

It will be the fourth name Yorkshire have played under in one-day cricket, with Tykes and Phoenix preceding Carnegie. The naming rights for their Headingley ground are also up for tender.

Yorkshire's first team will play the MCC in a 50-over match at Headingley on June 26 (11am) as part of their 150th year anniversary celebrations.

The match will be played just three days after the ICC Champions Trophy final, giving the MCC the best possible chance to field a team filled with star names. It will be the first time the clubs have met in a limited overs match.

"We expect a very competitive match featuring some world-class talent," said Yorkshire's executive chairman Colin Graves.

"Out of all the events planned in our sesquicentennial year, this will be the one where the vast majority of members and cricket fans from across the county can bask in the history and glory of our great club.

"We are hopeful that MCC can call upon some world-class players to play in the game."

It is not completely out of the question for Sachin Tendulkar to play in the game, with reports before Christmas suggesting Yorkshire president Geoffrey Boycott had asked the Little Master to play for the MCC.

MCC president Mike Griffiths said: "MCC is honoured to have been invited to play against Yorkshire as part of the county's 150th anniversary celebrations.

"Yorkshire's contribution to the English game over the past 150 years is without parallel. It has produced some of this country's finest cricketers and achieved unprecedented success in the domestic first-class game.

"It was always said that a strong Yorkshire meant a strong England, but the talent and passion for cricket in the county runs all the way down to the grass roots.

"It is fitting that MCC and Yorkshire, two cricket clubs with such rich histories and with members united by their love for the game, can come together to celebrate this achievement."

Meanwhile, the county will step up their search for a new chief executive now that Graves has been nominated for the role of the ECB's deputy chairman.

Yorkshire have been without a chief executive since Stewart Regan left for the Scottish FA in 2010, although Graves took on the title of executive chairman last summer.

He said: "We will be looking to appoint a new chief executive sooner rather than later. We were going to do it anyway this year, so we're just bringing the process forward.

"We haven't got anyone in mind, and we will advertise on our website and on the ECB website in the next two weeks. When the new person is appointed, I'll revert back to being just a normal chairman."

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