Rhi­nos sur­vive test­ing first half to beat York­shire ri­vals Hal­i­fax at Shay

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - FRONT PAGE - SPORTS WRITER Email: phil.har­ri­ Twit­ter: @PHar­risonYPN

ENG­LAND cap­tain Joe Root be­lieves York­shire are putting enough strong foun­da­tions in place from within their own ranks to en­sure the club be­gin chal­leng­ing for hon­ours again on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

As coach An­drew Gale’s team this week pre­pare to bring down the cur­tain on an­other tough County Cham­pi­onship cam­paign with their fi­nal game at al­readyrel­e­gated Worces­ter­shire, prepa­ra­tions con­tinue for next sea­son and, with it, the pos­si­ble make-up of the White Rose squad.

To­day’s news that Adil Rashid will be on board for a fur­ther year after sign­ing a new deal to play across all three for­mats of the game is a boost to the op­tions avail­able to Gale and direc­tor of cricket Mar­tyn Moxon for 2019 and be­yond.

In what will be an even busier sum­mer than usual, Root and county col­leagues Rashid and Jonny Bairstow are likely to be un­avail­able for longer pe­ri­ods to York­shire than nor­mal due to be­ing away on Eng­land duty, with a World Cup fol­lowed by an Ashes Test series.

This year has seen much more wide­spread crit­i­cism of York­shire and, in par­tic­u­lar first-team coach Gale, given the club’s strug­gles in the four-day for­mat and a fail­ure to make an im­pact in ei­ther the Royal Lon­don Cup or the Vi­tal­ity T20 Blast.

Some fans, largely through var­i­ous so­cial me­dia plat­forms, have called for Gale to be re­placed, but the club – both on-and-off the field – have stood res­o­lutely be­hind their man, with Root quick to add his sup­port for the un­der­fire coach.

“It is fair to say that the club is go­ing through a slight tran­si­tion pe­riod and through that you are go­ing to get some dif­fi­cult times,” said Root, while help­ing pro­mote the sport among school­child­ren in Mor­ley last week as part of a com­mu­nity ini­tia­tive launched by Vil­lage Ho­tels Club.

“The un­for­tu­nate thing is that some peo­ple want some­body to blame for that and I don’t think it is as sim­ple as that. With this team hav­ing been so suc­cess­ful for such a long pe­riod and los­ing a lot of se­nior play­ers to the in­ter­na­tional team, it makes it very dif­fi­cult to get through that pe­riod.

“The club is con­tin­u­ing to re­build and if we can stay strong as a group and tight as a team then, in time, I’m con­vinced you will see York­shire right back at the top of the County Cham­pi­onship as well as com­pet­ing in both white ball cricket for­mats.

“In both white-ball for­mats this year we’ve come very close and it is frus­trat­ing that, of course, the down­side to hav­ing lots of in­ter­na­tional play­ers is you do end up los­ing them for a large chunk of those tour­na­ments.

“That is very frus­trat­ing for the mem­bers, but it is also very frus­trat­ing for the play­ers be­cause we want to see York­shire do well and be in­volved play­ing for York­shire and win­ning tro­phies.

“But that’s all just part and par­cel of the way the cricket world is at the mo­ment and the de­mands of in­ter­na­tional cricket.

“It’s a very dif­fi­cult one for the county, it’s a very dif­fi­cult one for Ga­ley and I think pa­tience is go­ing to be re­ally key for a lot of the mem­bers.”

Hav­ing come to promi­nence un­der Gale when he was cap­tain of York­shire – lead­ing them to two County Cham­pi­onship ti­tles in the process – Root is un­der­stand­ably keen for some­body he re­gards as a key fig­ure in his devel­op­ment to do well in his cur­rent po­si­tion as coach.

“One thing I will say about Ga­ley, is that he has done some fan­tas­tic things for this cricket club and he’s had some huge suc­cess in the Cham­pi­onship as a cap­tain and he’s des­per­ate for the guys to go out there and do well,” added Root.

“He’s des­per­ate for York­shire to be suc­cess­ful and, yes, he is learn­ing his trade and still rel­a­tively new to coach­ing and in charge of a side that is in a slight tran­si­tion.

“There is ob­vi­ously go­ing to be that ex­pec­ta­tion there be­cause it is a side that has won two Cham­pi­onship ti­tles in re­cent years.

“And Ga­ley has to work out the bal­ance of deal­ing with that pres­sure and get­ting the best out of the play­ers and I’m sure he has the ca­pa­bil­ity to go and do that.”

Loss of key play­ers to in­ter­na­tional duty in 2019 will, of course, be noth­ing un­usual for York­shire, a sign that the White Rose con­tin­ues to pro­duce enough qual­ity from, largely, within its own ranks. And it is the con­tin­u­ance of that York­shire ‘pro­duc­tion line’ that gives Root the be­lief that, de­spite dif­fi­cult pe­ri­ods over the last two sea­sons, it won’t be too long be­fore the county is a force to be reck­oned with once more.

“The loss of play­ers to Eng­land al­ways cre­ates op­por­tu­ni­ties for oth­ers to come in and show their po­ten­tial and qual­ity,” said Root. “We’ve seen some spe­cial per­for­mances through­out this sea­son, even last year – the likes of Ben Coad have been do­ing it for two sea­sons now and he has been a re­ally in­flu­en­tial player in the Cham­pi­onship.

“Matthew Fisher is a very ex­cit­ing prospect and we all know what he is ca­pa­ble of do­ing; Harry Brooke played one of the best in­nings I’ve seen this sea­son down at Es­sex, mak­ing a bril­liant hun­dred to win us a game out of nowhere. For such a young guy to take that on shows huge tal­ent and proves he is a guy with a great men­tal ca­pac­ity to go on and do great things in this game.

“So, yes, there are a lot of ex­cit­ing, young play­ers at this club – Tom Kohler-Cad­more is an­other who, in the last cou­ple of Cham­pi­onship games has taken his op­por­tu­nity when he’s had it.

“But when you are given those op­por­tu­ni­ties you have to take them and we’ve done it to a cer­tain de­gree this sea­son and, hope­fully, they can kick on even more next sea­son and do it more con­sis­tently.”

FOR­WARD THINK­ING: York­shire’s Eng­land cap­tain Joe Root, main pic­ture, has be­lief that his beloved county will soon be a force to be reck­oned with once again, with the likes of bats­man Harry Brook, above left, set to play a promi­nent role un­der the ste­ward­ship of first-team coach, An­drew Gale, above right. PIC­TURES: NIGEL FRENCH,PA/SI­MON HULME/SWPIX.COM

Phil Har­ri­son

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