After leaving reigning champions Nottinghamshire to return to Yorkshire, Ryan Sidebottom has pointed to the early season defeat by his former county as the root of the Tykes’ troubles this season.
Yorkshire’s relegation was confirmed at 2.20pm on the first day of the Durham v Worcestershire match, when Kemar Roach bowled Will Smith to give the visitors their first bowling point.
That was all they needed to ensure they stayed above Yorkshire, for whom Sidebottom took 62 County Championship wickets at 22.0, including five-wicket hauls in three of their last four matches and 11 in final one against Somerset.
“It has obviously been nice from a personal point of view but it was all in vain,” he said. “It has been a bitterly disappointing season – we have not performed consistently as a team.
“We’ve worked really hard but we have not played well enough. We have lost wickets in clumps and as a bowling unit we have not taken the game by the scruff of the neck when we’ve had chances.
“Yorkshire played brilliant cricket in 2010, but it started to go wrong this year when we lost at home to Nottinghamshire. To be bowled out for 86 when we only needed 145 to win set us on the back foot.
“We didn’t win for five or six matches after that. It took a lot out of us to play some great cricket and lose in that manner. We went downhill from that.
“But I don’t regret coming back one bit. There is a great bunch of lads here, and we have to work hard to come back up next year. We have a lot of young lads who will hopefully keep improving.
“Jonny Bairstow and Gary Ballance have stood out and Moin Ashraf has come in at the end of the season and shown that he can be a very good bowler.
“Everyone is desperate to win a Championship here and I want to be part of that. I want to play as long as possible. I hope I’ve shown I have still got a lot to offer and my aim is to keep improving and getting the young lads to work hard on their games.”