By Neil Fissler
David Byas had no regrets about announcing his retirement after becoming the first Yorkshire captain for 33 years to lift the County Championship trophy.
It was the second season after the County Championship was split into two divisions that Byas and his team ended a three decade drought.
And it was the first time that the White Rose county had won any silverware since 1987 when they beat Northamptonshire by the tightest of margins – losing fewer wickets with the teams tied on 244 runs each – to win the Benson & Hedges Cup final at Lord’s.
Twelve months earlier Yorkshire had finished third to Surrey after being docked eight points because of a poor pitch which cost them runners-up spot to arch rivals Lancashire.
Byas scored three centuries as his 853 runs helped him become the first Yorkshireman since Brian Close in 1968 to lift the County Championship trophy.
It showed that even at 38-years-old he still had plenty to contribute and at one stage he even thought that he still had a year or two in the game.
But fewer than two weeks after catching Simon Jones off Darren Lehmann at North Marine Road, Scarborough, to give Yorkshire the title with an innings and 112 run win over Glamorgan he sensationally quit.
Byas who scored more than 14,000 runs in a career that started in 1986 said that it was time for him to go back to the family farm near Driffield before being lured out of retirement by Lancashire for a season.
“I had a wonderful career and playing cricket for Yorkshire has took me around the world,” said Byas.
“It was an unforgettable experience and a great honour to captain the county to the first championship in 33 years.
“No-one can take that away from me and it will stay with me forever. I was still contributing runs in my last season but I wasn’t going to play for another ten years or anything like that.
“I have no regrets about my career because I gave myself every chance to succeed and I never tossed it away through not looking after myself.
“But I did wonder how things might have turned out if I had played for England when I was called up on standby for Graeme Hick and Michael Atherton.”
BACK ROW (left to right)
Chris Elstub: Dewsbury-born seamer who is now earning a living working as a PE teacher in Yorkshire.
Tom Baker: Dewsbury-born all-rounder who also played for Northamptonshire. Now a physiotherapist in Leeds.
Greg Lambert: Seamer who went into sales and worked for Office Depot and newspaper group. Now regional sales manager for Veolia UK.
Chris Taylor: Opening batsman and brother-in-law of Alex Stead is the director of a chain of physiotherapist clinics and owns All Round Cricket.
Scott Richardson: Batsman who was a director of Romida Sports for nine years. Now the founder and managing director of Redwood Cricket Company.
Alex Stead: Right-handed batsman was the sales and market manager of Stanley’s and has been UK sales manager at Desso Sports Systems since 2007.
Matt Carrico: Physio who has returned to his native USA where he runs Dover Physical Therapy, New Hampshire.
Simon Guy: Wicketkeeper/batsman went into coaching with Derbyshire and the ECB. Still playing for Suffolk.
Matthew Wood: Batsman who became territory manager for R & R Ice Cream but is now a personal development manager for the Professional Cricketers Association.
Ian Fisher: Former spinner is now back at Yorkshire as strength and conditioning coach after working for Essex.
Vic Craven: Batsman now running his own heating and plumbing business in Harrogate.
Michael Lumb: Batsman still playing county cricket for Notts.
James Middlebrook: Spinner who was re-signed by Yorkshire at the start of the 2015 season. Is planning to become an umpire.
Gary Fellows: Batsman now with Hanging Heaton in Bradford League.
Simon Widdup: Right-handed batsman is now a history teacher at Retford Oaks High School in Nottinghamshire.
Arnie Sidebottom: Ex-England fast bowler who played for Manchester United. Became a teacher at Woodhouse Grove School in West Yorkshire.
Mohammed Seraj: Now a chartered physiotherapist at Skircoat Green Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic.
Wayne Clark: Australian Test fast bowler has been a Western Australia selector and worked in the media.
Matthew Hoggard: England seamer works in business development for Foreign Exchange wholesale brokerage and runs his own coaching academy.
Anthony McGrath: Former England all-rounder is still working for Yorkshire in a new role as a player mentor and has worked in the media.
Chris Silverwood: Former England bowler has been head coach for Mashonaland Eagles and is now assistant head coach and fast bowling coach at Essex.
Craig White: England all-rounder is the brother-in-law of Darren Lehmann and since 2012 has been on the coaching staff at Hampshire.
Darren Lehmann: Former Australia Test batsman who is now coaching his country after a spell working in the IPL. Has his own academy.
David Byas: Batsman who became director of cricket at Headingley and is now director of sport at Pocklington School and runs his own academy.
Michael Vaughan: Former England batsman who captained the 2005 Ashes winning side has mentored the England U19s as well as forging a career for BBC’s Test Match Special.
Darren Gough: Former England fast bowler is now a brand ambassador and also presents drive-time on talkSPORT.
Richard Blakey: England wicketkeeper/batsman is now running his own sporting and corporate events company.
Gavin Hamilton: All-rounder who played for England and Scotland. Now the Professional Cricketers Association’s business development manager.
Paul Hutchinson: Seamer who went to work in sports retail with Surridge Sports and Romida Sports. Is now managing director of Romwearin Leeds.
Ryan Sidebottom: The former England bowler is in his second spell playing for Yorkshire.
This article was originally published in The Cricket Paper, May 15 2015