Martyn Moxon believes his Yorkshire side can collect silverware in the 2021 county cricket season which begins tomorrow while also hoping his beloved Barnsley FC can reach the top flight of English football for the second time.

The Stairfoot man, who played for Yorkshire and England before becoming director of cricket at Headingley, has been following the Reds’ progress as Valerien Ismael led them to fifth with eight games remaining.

He is now hoping for a repeat of 1997 when they reached the Premier League months before he retired from playing.

Moxon told the Chronicle: “It’s been amazing. Credit to the manager and all the players because the games have come thick and fast and to achieve the consistency and results they have has been remarkable.

“There is a lot of football to be played but we have a chance to get back in the Premier League and it’s a great opportunity. You have to pinch yourself as a Barnsley fan to find yourself in this position again. It’s something we thought we might not see again.

“I remember in 1997 when I heard they had been promoted, travelling back from a cricket game. I don’t think I have ever been as excited. It was just a fantastic feeling. I remember the elation of hearing it on the radio.

“We can dream about it again, and who would have thought that?

“I just want to wish the manager and the players all the best for the remaining games. I am sure they are not counting their chickens but they are in a great position.”

Yorkshire are due to host Glamorgan from Thursday at Headingley in the County Championship, while they will also play in the One Day Cup and Twenty20 Blast this season.

Last season, the One Day Cup was cancelled and the County Championship replaced by a shortened Bob Willis Trophy in which Yorkshire won the North Group but did not qualify for the final, while they also went out in the Blast’s group stage.

Moxon said: “On paper we have a very strong squad. We have England internationals Dawid Malan and Dom Bess coming into a squad that is already strong. Our younger players have more experience. If we play to our capabilities, we will be challenging for silverware. We have to earn the right to do that but it’s very encouraging and we’re all looking forward to it.

“It’s been a tough winter but a good one. We have had restrictions since November. We had to start with one to one training then progressed to smaller groups. It’s meant some long days but the staff and players have got stuck into it with no complaints.

“We’ve all been pleased to be able to come in and train.”

The season is set to start behind closed doors but fans are expected to return either in April or May, with the exact date not yet announced.

“Any player would prefer to play behind closed doors than not at all, but everyone is really looking forward to the day when the crowds come back.

“It’s not the same. Hopefully fans are back sooner rather than later.

“The members and the supporters will be desperate to come through the gates and see a day’s cricket.”