RICH PYRAH, the Yorkshire beneficiary for 2015, has announced his retirement from professional cricket with immediate effect to take up a coaching position with the club.
Pyrah is to work with all teams – from age-groups to senior side –in a full-time role starting on October 1.
The news comes as champions Yorkshire today embark on their final game of the season against Sussex at Headingley, needing one more win to achieve the most victories (11) since the County Championship was split into two divisions 15 years ago.
Having already beaten Sussex’s First Division points record of 257 in their last match, Yorkshire need two more points to eclipse Somerset’s overall record of 266 in Division Two in 2007, although it is worth observing that Surrey could yet get to 275 points in Division Two and Lancashire to 267 in this week’s final round of fixtures.
Pyrah, 32, has played only twice in the Championship this year, taking part in the first two games when Yorkshire were hit by England calls.
He also played in 10 NatWest T20 Blast games and four Royal London Cup fixtures this summer.
Coaching has increasingly begun to take over, and Pyrah has lately been working with the first team squad as well as studying for coaching exams.
Now he is looking forward to embracing a new career under the guidance of first-team coach Jason Gillespie and director of cricket Martyn Moxon.
“I have had a wonderful career with Yorkshire and enjoyed every aspect of it,” said Pyrah, who first played for the club in 2004.
“I am now ready for the next chapter in my life, and I have always had aspirations of going into coaching.
“I have successfully done my ECB Level Three, and I am just about to embark on the Level Four qualification over the next two years.
“I’m ready to offer my experience to every aspect of Yorkshire cricket – from developing the ever-increasing young talent that continues to flourish through age-group cricket and working with the senior players.”
Pyrah, who was born in Dewsbury, made his name as a T20/one-day specialist.
A right-hand batsman, medium-pace bowler and brilliant fielder, he revealed that he turned down chances to leave Yorkshire for greater exposure in four-day cricket.
“I have had opportunities to leave the club, but I always wanted to stay even if that was to the detriment of not playing a lot of first-class cricket,” said Pyrah.
“I could never see myself working for another county.
“Yorkshire cricket is ingrained in my heart, and I am look forwarding to playing my part in the continued success of the club.
“It’s an exciting period for me and one that I’m relishing.”
Last year, Pyrah became the first Englishman to take 100 T20 wickets, and he also took the catch that clinched the Championship title.
Moxon paid tribute to a man who already has in-depth knowledge of how the club works.
“Rich has been a great servant to the club for over a decade,” said Moxon.
“He has grown up with the culture of the club and has played an integral part in our success over the years.
“He is ready to become a successful coach, and I am looking forward to working with him in the next period of his career.
“He will be a great asset across all aspects of coaching and will be able to pass on his valuable knowledge to every player he comes into contact with.”
Yorkshire face some interesting selection decisions today, with England’s Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett all returning after the one-day series against Australia.
They come in for Andrew Hodd, James Middlebrook and Will Rhodes in a 13-man squad.
Andrew Gale will be presented with the Championship trophy for a third time after the match for the benefit of the home supporters.
Gale first lifted it when Yorkshire clinched the title at Lord’s and was re-presented with the cup at Southampton last week for the benefit of the Sky cameras.
There will be a minute’s applause before start of play today to mark the death of former Yorkshire and England captain Brian Close.
Mr Close died on Sunday, September 13, aged 84, after a brave battle with illness.