Ali Maiden ‘loved’ his chance to be No 1 at Yorkshire CCC
For assistant coach Ali Maiden, the competition has been similarly beneficial in terms of leading the team with head coach Ottis Gibson away at The Hundred.
While Gibson is busy with the Northern Superchargers, the 100-ball franchise based at Headingley, Maiden has relished the chance to take the Yorkshire reins. He helped a young and inexperienced team to within a whisker of the quarter-finals, with Yorkshire falling one point short despite missing no fewer than eight players to The Hundred plus those involved in international action.
Maiden said: “I’ve loved it, absolutely loved it. One thing it’s done for me is given me experience of being in charge of a team at this level, which I hadn’t done before.
“I came into Yorkshire as assistant coach and batting coach, so the lads obviously see you in that role. To then take a leadership role, I hope all of a sudden people see you in a different light and that you can add various things in different ways.
“I hope it adds to my current role going forward because of this opportunity to lead the players. It’s a shame we’re not going to go any further in the tournament, but we’ve done well against teams who had much more experience than us and the lads were terrific and competed really well.”
Part of the coaching reshuffle at Yorkshire last winter, Maiden, 39, joined from Leicestershire where he was head of the academy set-up.
Previously England women’s assistant coach and lead batting coach for the England women’s development programme, he is constructing an impressive CV and hopes one day to become a county head coach.
“That’s always been something I’d like to do,” he said. “One of the reasons why I took the head of the academy job at Leicester was to run a programme of my own. I’d been assistant coach at a number of places and all that type of stuff, but I wanted to lead something, I wanted to lead staff, I wanted to be in charge. That was one of the reasons I did that. So it’s always been an ambition of mine to be a head coach and to take a leadership role.
“I’ve had a lot of really good opportunities at a young age in coaching. There’s still a lot of me that would go ‘yeah, I’d like to do that, be a head coach’, but I’ve still got a lot of time on my side.
“I love developing players, I’ve enjoyed being in charge here. My approach to this competition as a leader was a development one because I think that’s the way I’ll always be.
“I think you always try to help the players develop as a head coach anyway. I am ambitious and I would like to do that going forward, but I am more than happy helping the lads and doing what I’m doing.”
Maiden led Yorkshire to a fifth-placed finish in Group B after four wins and four defeats, with Kent leapfrogging them at the last to a quarter-final spot. Although disappointed not to go further, he believes Yorkshire essentially got out of the competition what they wanted – to see their young players gain experience, develop and improve.
“We set our stall out to improve in certain areas and to do certain things, and we think we achieved those things,” he added. “Things like improving the way we approach our fielding. We talked as a group about trying to improve our attitude and our intent in the field, to be more attacking and more aggressive and more positive, and we did that. That’s been a fantastic positive.
“The overall aim of the competition was about development opportunities for the lads, and they’ve taken those opportunities.
“Will Fraine has got another hundred in this competition and played well amongst other scores. Harry Duke has done really well and had a good tournament, which can only mean good things for him.
“Will Luxton got a nice 80-odd. Finlay Bean had his opportunity and played really well. Jonny Tattersall has done well as captain. It’s been a good first outing for him and he’s really managed the team and led the team well. You can go through the entire team really.
“Ben Coad has come back strong (after injury), so he’s in a better place going into the Championship matches that we’ve got coming up. The spinners, Jack Shutt, Harry Sullivan and Dom Bess all did well. George Hill, Tom Loten, Matthew Waite and Matthew Revis have also performed, you name it.”
Revis, 20, showed exactly the attitude that Maiden wanted in terms of his response to conceding a last-ball six that saw Kent beat Yorkshire in Canterbury last Friday.
“Rev was distraught after that game,” said Maiden. “I said to him on the bus that the only thing that matters is how you come back from that, and that it’s a fantastic learning as long as you come back strong.
“On the morning of our next match at Chesterfield, I saw him and he had a big grin on his face and he was saying, ‘I’m going to get back on the horse today’, and he was unbelievable all day. His attitude to the game was fantastic. That’s all you want from a player, and Rev has had an amazing summer.
“These lads are so young, they’re so mouldable, and you just want them to continue with that sort of attitude. They’re a terrific bunch who will only improve.”