2014 will mark the 15th anniversary since Mike Yardy made his debut for Sussex
In that time he has been the bedrock of the squad during the most successful period in the club’s history during which they have won seven trophies including three County Championships.
Yet it took a while for ‘Yards’ to establish himself. For the first three years he bowled fairly innocuous left-arm seamers and was regarded as somewhat stodgy batsman.
I feel very privileged to be asked to contribute to Mike's Benefit Year as someone who epitomises everything Sussex stands for, honesty, commitment and giving everything to the Team. He is a man for a crisis, highly skilful and above all one of the most genuine blokes you will come across on the circuit. His development as a player has matched the growth of the Club and has set an example for others to follow, living out the behaviours needed to make a winning team. Yards has done this from the beginning, showing his fight and determination against Surrey in a rearguard action when he had only just broken into the side as a nineteen year old. Any coach will tell you he is only as good as those players that will live out the words that are spoken in team meetings and become the men that others will follow. This has been Mike's path and he deserves your support more than most during his Benefit Year. I'm sure as always you will get behind him and celebrate a wonderful career to date and hopefully a few more years to come yet. Mick hope it all goes well and well done on a brilliant career to date
Peter Moores, Head Coach, Lancashire CCC
Mike Yardy Battle, Hastings, Sussex ,and England, Winner of every domestic trophy including the championship 3 times, England T 20 winner Man of Sussex, a man of steel who always faces every battle square on. Respected by all in the dressing room both as a player and most importantly as a person. You only ever let yourself down with that pub team you support. HAVE A GREAT YEAR!
Mark Robinson, Cricket Manger, Sussex CCC
I have been lucky to have known and played with Yards for ten years now, not only for Sussex but also for England A and England. I think we will always have a special bond after winning the T20 World Cup in the West Indies for England together. Yards was magnificent the whole tournament and it was such a special time in both of our lives and careers and to share that with a mate made it all the better. I am delighted for Mick and his family that he has been awarded this benefit. Yards is what Sussex CCC are all about - hard work, being a good person, making the most of your talent and winning trophies and he is a great example of all these traits. All the very best Micky-Moo to you and your lovely family for your benefit, you truly deserve a great year!
Luke Wright – England and Sussex all-rounder
The Heart Beat of the Club! For the last decade Yards has been at the forefront of everything that's happened at Sussex ccc. Scoring runs, banter, mickey taking, winning countless trophies, but most importantly the family values that the club live by. He has a fantastic work ethic and is always trying to reinvent his game to gain an edge. When playing international cricket he was an unbelievable ambassador for the club culminating in being a World Cup winner. Not many people get to say that! There isn't a more deserving beneficiary than yards. He has represented this proud club with dignity and class since joining the staff all those years ago! Congratulations mate and good luck, have a fantastic year.
Carl Hopkinson – Sussex Coach
Yards has been a senior player for all of my Sussex career. There hasn't been a player during my career who personifies all that Sussex as a club stand for both on and off the pitch as much as he does. He is always someone I will turn to for advice and it isn't a surprise that he has had such a successful career including captaining his county and winning a World Cup for his country! All the best with the benefit mate.
Will Beer – Sussex CCC bowler
I’ve known and coached Yards since he was eleven. His spirit, determination, ability to bounce back from setbacks and fierce will to win have enabled him to achieve his life goals and are truly inspiring. A role model for people to admire and emulate, a team full of Michael Yardy’s would be a very lucky team indeed. Good luck in 2014 mate, I hope you get all the support you truly deserve.
Keith 'Grubby' Greenfield - Academy Director
It is hard to believe that it’s time to write a few lines for Mickey Yardy! It only seems like yesterday that he was running up to bowl left arm seamers in Nike golf shoes and then taking us to “The Crypt” in Hastings after the game. He turned out for Sussex many times in those golf shoes…I knew then that there was something a bit different about him! I have some great memories of Mike as a player, a team mate and even a room mate but mostly just as a mate. It’s not easy to put such a large character into 4 or 5 lines, but if I had to pick a team to play for my life, I would pick him…..twice! A fierce competitor, with a huge will to succeed, you would want him on your team too! Sussex through and through, one of our own and one of the games true characters. Have a great year mate.
Jason Lewry – Former Sussex CCC player
Mike Yardy-real life Tortoise and the Hare : I think what I most admire about Yards is his patience and his single minded approach in striving towards his goals. He was prepared to travel (and suffer) by public transport a journey from Hastings to Arundel. When it could have been considered he had limited opportunity at Sussex he didn't opt for the short term gain and look to move county. Instead, he was prepared to work and understand his game with a set of trusted coaches to achieve the best he could. I'm not sure I have witnessed anyone who has spent so much energy both physically and mentally on looking to improve his game. His rewards; playing a major part in a team that won every domestic trophy, represented his country in both forms of the one day game, a world cup winners medal and captaining his county, achievements any cricketer would want. It is his journey to those rewards which should be so richly rewarded during his Benefit Year.
James Kirtley – Former Sussex CCC and England cricketer
It's an honour to write a few lines about such a talented cricketer and a great person. Yards is the type of player who never backs down from a challenge, wears his heart on his sleeve and gives everything to Sussex County Cricket Club. He is a very good friend of mine and I wish him all the very best with his benefit year.
Chris Liddle, Sussex CCC bowler
The player in the Sussex squad who most encapsulates the values of the club is undoubtedly Mike Yardy. As a cricketer, he's been a high quality all-rounder for well over a decade. He's been a mean competitor in all of this time and has lead by example by his hard work always trying to improve his game. He's a leader both on and off the pitch and as important as all the above, he's a family man playing at a family club. Add to all this the fact that he captained Sussex very successfully for 4 years and is a World Cup winner with England and I think no one could deny that Yards is hugely deserving of his benefit year in 2014. Hope it goes well for you mate. You deserve it.
Ed Joyce, Sussex Captain
Never has a guy deserved a benefit more than Yards. He epitomises everything that is good about Sussex cricket. His work rate passion and level of performance were a great example and inspiration to me when first starting out as a young professional. I also owe a lot to Yards for showing great faith and patience with me in his time as captain, especially when I was diving around in front of him at first slip! Looking forward to more inane banter in the cordon next summer and giving you more thrashings on FIFA! All the best for your big year, Brownie.
Ben Brown, Sussex Wicketkeeper