Jaques happy to be back at Yorkshire

First published in Yorkshire CCC

Phil Jaques is back at Yorkshire having wished he had never left in the first place.

The Australian batsman has had his second debut for the county delayed by the rain as the opening day of the LV= County Championship match against Essex was washed out.

Jaques, 32 and confirmed as a non-overseas player by virtue of holding a British passport, spent two successful summers at Headingley in 2004 and 2005, helping gain promotion back to division one in the latter campaign.

That target is the same now for the recently-married left-hander, who was replaced as the club's overseas player by a familiar name for the 2006 summer.

"I wanted to continue playing here when I left, but the club wanted a bowler at the time," he said.

"Jason Gillespie actually took my spot, which is quite ironic. But It's great to be back. I would never have left if I'd had it my way.

"I've always watched Yorkshire with interest because they're a club close to my heart with my Dad being from Sheffield. He's coming over to watch a bit this year as well, which will be good.

"I got on great with Dizzy (Gillespie) when I played with him. He brings a calmness to the squad, and you know that what you see is what you get.

"He was a senior player in the Australian side when I started out as a young bloke, so it's similar in that respect. He helped me along and made me feel a part of it when we played, and he's doing that now by making me feel a part of it here.

"I'm really looking forward to the next couple of years. Hopefully I can offer something."

Jaques, now ineligible to play any form of professional cricket in Australia, has also had spells in county cricket with Northamptonshire and Worcestershire.

"I've had a decent career back home, but to come back here now is great," he continued.

"To be able to put back into the English game, which has been good to me over the years, I'm looking forward to it.

"I cut my teeth here, and the county game gave me an opportunity.

"I probably wouldn't have played for New South Wales and Australia had I not taken the plunge.

"I was playing a lot of second-team cricket and scoring heavily, but they were looking elsewhere and didn't think I was good enough up until that point. I came over here as an overseas and proved myself."

Now Yorkshire have to prove themselves as a side by achieving promotion from division two.

"I think promotion's definitely realistic," he added. "While the squad's young, it has a good mix. I'm sure that as the season goes on, we'll be up there."

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