Ryan Bradshaw urged Yorkshire to keep returning to Harrogate after the White Rose county made their first appearance at St George’s Road in 18 years.
Yorkshire Vikings sent a side including England star Jonny Bairstow and captain Andrew Gale to Harrogate on Tuesday, as they won the T-20 exhibition match by 80 runs (full report on page 94).
Yorkshire posted 189-7 and then outclassed Harrogate with the ball as they ended on 109-8.
Despite losing heavily, Harrogate had the professionals sweating at 25-3 and star paceman Tom Geeson-Brown took 5-43 in the contest.
Harrogate captain Bradshaw said: “It’s great having Yorkshire down here. We have missed them. We have missed the festival and we have missed the crowd that Yorkshire bring.
“It’s a pleasure to have them on our ground.
“Our main objective of the night was to give them a game, and I think we did that. There were periods of the game where we were on top but they had world class players in their team and they came out on the better side of it.
“We did ourselves very proud. I’m very happy with the lads.”
Yorkshire last played in Harrogate in 1996 when they faced Hampshire in the county championship.
But with the financial constraints of Yorkshire’s ground in Headingley, Bradshaw doubted a return to Harrogate for full county matches was imminent. However, the skipper hopes Tuesday’s fixture can be an annual event.
He said: “I love it when it goes to Scarborough, and I love it when they come here.
“It’s the old saying bringing the game to the people. I’m a big believer in that.
“You watch them, Jonny Bairstow is there giving autographs, that’s invaluable. That will inspire our youngsters without a doubt.
“Every year they should come and maybe play a Twenty 20 against us or at least do it on a rotational basis. We can cater for big sides and we have a very good side to compete with them. There’s no reason why they can’t come down.”
Andrew Hodd topscored for Yorkshire with 62, before the impressive spin attack of Adil Rashid, Azeem Rafiq and Jack Leaning tied Harrogate down in the reply.
Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale said: “It was a job well done. At 30-3, the start wasn’t ideal but the lads played really well to get us back into the game to post nearly 190. Our bowling was pretty ruthless.
“It’s great to see so many people turning out tonight. Some of these people don’t get to watch Yorkshire at Headingley as much as they like.
“Hopefully it will give them a taste of what we are about and they might come and watch us.”