Yorkshire cricket: Matthew Fisher says team ready to take on ‘role model’ responsibility
After six months of damaging historical revelations and behind-the-scenes turmoil sparked by Azeem Rafiq’s whistleblowing tale of racial harassment and bullying at Headingley, a semblance of normality will resume when they open their LV=Insurance County season Championship at Gloucestershire on Thursday.
All eyes will be on the White Rose as a new era led by Lord Kamlesh Patel, Darren Gough and Ottis Gibson takes its next big step and Fisher accepts there will be an increased level of scrutiny.
But fresh off winning his first West Indies Test cap, the 24-year-old designer is ready to lead the way as well as attack.
“Will there be extra eyes on us? Potentially. Is it deserved? Maybe, yeah. But I just hope we can focus on being good role models on and off the pitch,” he told PA news agency.
“Everyone in the sport, with what’s happened, now has a responsibility to develop the game and make it a game for everyone. The group we have in Yorkshire are now together on this and wants to do it. I feel like in the very recent past, it was like that.
“I feel we have a group that is ready to be educated, ready to change. I got into cricket because of my role models and as players we hope children from all walks of life can see each of us as a role model. I believe that when you get a contract as a professional cricketer, it’s not just the role of the game that’s your responsibility: it’s how you are with the fans, how you are with the media, how you are with the staff and the players around you.
“You are not just a professional cricketer. We play this game because we love it and the more people can enjoy it the better.
Fisher has been tipped as a potential England star since making his White Rose debut as a 15-year-old wonderkid in 2013 and finally getting his cap in Barbados last month.