MOST professional cricketers go through their entire career without winning the County Championship.
Not Ryan Sidebottom.
The 37-year-old has won five titles – three with Yorkshire (in 2001, 2014 and 2015) and two with Nottinghamshire (in 2005 and 2010).
It is difficult to think of any current player who can match that record.
“I’m just very fortunate,” said the former England left-arm pace bowler.
“I’m just very lucky, as a player and individual, to have played with so many great players over the years.
“We’ve got a great bunch of lads at Yorkshire at the moment, and they help to keep me hungry and fresh.
“Touch wood, I can carry on playing for a good while yet and hopefully keep producing the goods.”
Sidebottom, who has one year left on his contract, has again led the attack in splendid style.
Despite missing six weeks with injury at the start of the season, he took 41 Championship wickets at 17.90, his prodigious powers showing no sign of abating.
Eleven of those wickets came in a thumping victory against Warwickshire at Edgbaston, where the veteran bowler rolled back the years with a typically talismanic performance.
Sidebottom’s match figures of 11-76 were the second-best of his career behind 11-43 against Kent at Headingley in 2000.
“First and foremost, the title has been a wonderful team effort,” said Sidebottom, who memorably captured three wickets in the opening over of the match against Middlesex at Lord’s – including his 700th in first-class cricket.
“We’ve played 21 players out of our staff this year because we’ve lost a lot of players to the England set-up.
“A lot of the Yorkshire lads have come up through the Academy system, and when I came back to the club a few years ago, Martyn Moxon, the director of cricket, said that we’ve got a lot of young players at the club who are talented and raw, but they keep on improving each and every year.
“To have played alongside those lads and seen them grow during that time has been brilliant, and we can only go from strength to strength in the next few years.”