Imagine this. You’re on as substitute fielder for Yorkshire County Cricket Club on their most important morning in recent history.
Gary Ballance is in the pavilion icing his hand; Nottinghamshire are teetering on the brink of an innings defeat and James Taylor is doggedly digging in.
Ryan Sidebottom tears in, already five wickets to the good, and the ball thuds high on the bat as Taylor inexplicably gives the charge.
The ball loops towards you, fielding at point, and before you’ve had much time to register doubt, fear, shock or elation, you’ve pouched a bread-and-butter catch and literally caught the LV=County Championship.
Yorkshire’s Richard Pyrah probably couldn’t have written the script much better and it’s a moment that will surely stay with him forever.
Professional sport can be a cruel taskmaster so reminders of success deserve to be stored away like the proverbial hamster for leaner times.
In Pyrah’s case, injuries as when breaking his hand twice back in 2012 and multiple operations since has taught him the unfortunate need, allied with Yorkshire’s strength, to bide his time.
Amidst the star names that Yorkshire County Cricket Club have in abundance; leading wicket-takers and run-scorers and England internationals, Pyrah quietly goes about his business effectively.
No County Championship is ever won by eleven cricketers. But it can be lost by the depth, or lack of it, in your county squad.
Cricketers like Rich Pyrah, who stepped in for Tim Bresnan away at title contenders Warwickshire, are worth their weight in gold.
With just five Championship starts in 2014 to date (he’s expected to play against Somerset), the allrounder was straight into the action; snaring 3-37 on day one at Edgbaston back in late June.
If snaffling Varun Chopra caught behind and bowling Jim Troughton in a matter of balls wasn’t enough, his innings of 62 and a stand of 123 in 30 overs with Aaron Finch underlined a telling performance.
In the aftermath of the Championship victory – Yorkshire’s first for thirteen years – we all enjoyed a barrage of images showing wild celebrations. Well, you would, wouldn’t you?
As it often does, Twitter revealed a unique perspective; not least this photo below tweeted by Joe Root that shows Pyrah hugging the Champions 2014 board used in the celebrations squad photos.
He has own hashtag #NoPyrahNoParty suggesting it’s rarely a dull day in the Pyrah household but there’s never been any heirs and graces during interviews.
— Joe Root (@joeroot05) September 12, 2014
Since then, there’s been a chance to play at Wormsley alongside Brian Lara and the announcement that Pyrah has been awarded his Benefit Year for 2015.
A down-to-earth professional cricketer, happy to offer up his time for a chat and popular with the Yorkshire supporters as someone who rolls his sleeves up, you imagine they will get involved.
We catch up on Skype before the official Benefit announcement after a previous attempt gets bumped back as he’s out in the car with his young family.
Pyrah superstitiously held off any talk of benefit years with the title yet to be secured but is now allowing himself to think about a committee, including chairman of his home club Ossett CC, to help put together a programme of events next year.
We recommend you have a listen to our exclusive interview with Rich as he recounts the moment the catch came to him that would win Yorkshire the title.
Plus, more on an honest and obvious pride in being awarded his benefit – they don’t dish these out to just anyone you know.
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