Rod­er­ick Eas­dale looks at the prob­lems fac­ing York­shire af­ter a poor Cham­pi­onship sea­son

The Cricket Paper - - FEATURE -

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

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