MORE THAN ONE ISSUE FOR STRUGGLING YORKSHIRE MEN
Roderick Easdale looks at the problems facing Yorkshire after a poor Championship season
Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale has vowed to continue in the role despite calls for him to quit after the team’s disappointing season. He has been supported in this by Yorkshire’s Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon and chairman Steve Denison.
“People can say what they want,” a defiant Gale said after the end of his first season as coach. “I’ve always been up for a challenge. I love this club and still believe in the group of players. I won’t be walking away from this club. I feel let down by the players, particularly the senior players.”
On calls for change, Moxon believes: “The change that needs to happen is the mindset of our players. Having that desire to put in the work required to be successful in Division One – that’s the big change that needs to happen. Andrew Gale has my 100 per cent backing. Andrew’s appointment was a long-term measure.”
It was also Moxon’s appointment – and an uninspiring one in the eyes of many supporters who had heard tales of Paul Farbrace and Andy Flower being sounded out, and when the job had been advertised and attracted 16 ‘serious’ applicants.
The logic was that when Yorkshire were losing the coach of the 2014 and 2015 champions they were retaining that side’s captain in a management role, when he was struggling to be fitted into the best Championship XI and had already been dropped from the white-ball sides. At the time, Moxon had said: “It’s important that we keep continuity within the group and protect the environment that we’ve created.”
However this meant no fresh thinking was interjected into a set-up that was showing signs of staleness and a sub-conscious resting on laurels. Moreover it was appointing someone who publicly had said he had “lost a lot of enjoyment for the game”.
When, in 2001,Yorkshire ended their run of 33 years without a championship title it was under an outsider, Australian Wayne Clark, who had come in and shaken things up. When Yorkshire next won the championship it was again under such a coach, the whirlwind that was Jason Gillespie.
That the wind was coming out of Yorkshire’s sails was shown in the high-scoring Old Trafford Roses match of 2016 when Yorkshire shook hands on the draw at 188-0 with a further 179 required off 19 overs.
Successful sides can lose the ruthlessness and hunger that brought that success. Middlesex showed they had done so this season against Essex at Lord’s when, 212 ahead on first innings they did not enforce the follow on and eventually set 452 to win in little
What went wrong? Yorkshire captain Gary Ballance trudges off in their embarrassing last game of the season defeat to Essex. Inset: The retiring Ryan Sidebottom