If Yorkshire want dazzling strokeplay to be part and parcel of Championship cricket at Headingley then they should insist that umpire Jeremy Lloyds stands in every game!

The former Somerset and Gloucestershire all-rounder was on duty in 2001 when Darren Lehmann plundered his astonishing 252 not out on the ground in the Roses match.

And he was in the middle again on Wednesday to witness at first hand the sheer brilliance of Lehmann's Australian Test colleague, Damien Martyn, who thundered his way to the season's fastest century en route to a stunning 238 off Gloucestershire's attack.

Lloyds said at the time of Lehmann's blistering innings: "It was an absolute privilege to watch it all unfold.

"He was just toying with the Lancashire bowling, taking the Mick, really.

"Every time Lancashire made a field change, Lehmann played the ball into the gap from where a player had just been taken and it was a magnificent display of improvisation."

Lloyds belief was that he would never see the equal of Lehmann's performance - so what was his opinion of Martyn's innings?

"It was even better," he confessed.

"They are different types of batsmen but Martyn is absolute perfection in the execution of his shots.

"He stands so still and the ball just seems to fly off the middle of the bat."

There was a nice exchange between pace bowler Jon Lewis and the amiable Martyn when the right-hander had gone to about 158 with a boundary to third man off the edge of the bat.

"You jam-strangled . . . .", complained Lewis.

"It's a bit late to start sledging now," grinned Martyn.

What made Martyn's innings even more remarkable was that he was playing with a broken nose sustained after making 87 in his only previous appearance for Yorkshire a fortnight earlier.

The Australian Cricket Board had let Martyn know that they would be more than happy if he returned home, thus safeguarding himself from any further possible damage before the start of their domestic season.

But Martyn shunned such suggestions, preferring instead to remain part of the Yorkshire dressing room even when the players spent four days and nights in Worcester for the Championship match at New Road.

Martyn practised with his Yorkshire colleagues before start of play each day and was utterly determined to pronounce himself fit for the crunch game against Gloucestershire.

"I have not been with these guys for very long but I have really settled in with them and I wanted to stay on and help them try to win promotion," he insisted.

Martyn said he would not be back with Yorkshire next season because Lehmann was returning.

"Darren has played some pretty special innings for Yorkshire and he is a fantastic batsman, but I would like to think that at some stage in the future the opportunity will arise for me to fulfil another engagement with the club."

In the end, Martyn's epic innings could not bring Yorkshire promotion, bad light and rain at tea-time on Saturday making sure that it went to Gloucestershire instead.

But before he said farewell to Yorkshire, Martyn had time to be presented with the Sir Lawrence Trophy for his fastest century of the season.

The 65 balls it took him to reach three figures was one ball faster than Matthew Fleming took to scoop the Trophy last season and 24 deliveries quicker than Darren Lehmann when he won it in 2000.