YORKSHIRE captain Andrew Gale has spoken of his “immense pride” at being awarded a benefit year by the club.
After more than a decade of service to the county, the 31-year-old – who lifted the County Championship for a second successive year last month – is now regarded as Yorkshire’s second most successful post-war captain after Brian Close.
Gale is currently in the process of selecting his Benefit Year Committee for 2016 and hopes to announce a full calendar of events in due course.
“I am immensely proud to be awarded a benefit year and I would like to thank the club for the opportunity,” said Gale, who made his senior debut in 2002.
“I have represented Yorkshire since I was 10 years old, and love every minute of pulling on the White Rose shirt.
“I have had some great times at the club, particularly the last few years where we have enjoyed some success.
“Although I am probably nearer the back of my career than the start, I still have a burning desire to continue to drive the Club to more success.”
During his time with Yorkshire, the bullish left-hander has scored 7646 First-class runs at an average of 38.03 including 20 centuries and 29 fifties. He posted a career best First-class score of 272 in a Championship draw against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough in 2013 on the way to passing 1,000 runs in a season in that competition for the first time in his career. He scored two more hundreds in a haul of 1,067.
In 2012 he led the county to the T20 final at Cardiff in August, to Championship promotion in September and to the Champions League in October.
This season, he has proved a vital component of Yorkshire’ batting line-up, scoring over 1,000 Championship runs at an average of 40.24.
Born in Dewsbury, Gale started out in league cricket at Gomersal as an eight-year-old but it is the Bradford League club Cleckheaton he regards as his home club.
He came through the age groups with England, playing at Under-15 through to Under-19 levels. He captained the Under-19 team, and was named in the England Performance Squad for their trip to South Africa in 2009-10.
That December, he was named as Yorkshire captain, replacing Anthony McGrath, so becoming the youngest professional captain in the county’s history.
“It is going to be a busy year for me, both on and off the field,” added Gale.
“I have a fantastic committee working with me and we hope to confirm a list of events, including a website and logo in the next couple of months.”