ANDREW GALE wants Yorkshire to go through the whole season without an overseas player.
The first-team coach is challenging his squad to keep at bay any temptation to recruit from abroad.
His comments come after Yorkshire were knocked out of the One-Day Cup, leaving them just the County Championship and T20 Blast to play for.
“I’d love not to have an overseas player all season,” said Gale, ahead of today’s Championship match against Kent at Canterbury.
“I’d love our own lads to do the business instead.
“If they don’t then we might have to bring in someone from the outside.
“It’s up to them to deliver and perform.”
Gale’s willingness to back Yorkshire’s home-grown talent comes after an encouraging start to the Championship season, with the club drawing at Nottinghamshire and winning at Hampshire.
Yorkshire effectively had the equivalent of a leading overseas player for those fixtures in the form of England Test captain Joe Root, but his absence from now on due to international duty will clearly leave a hole in the batting.
“We’re always looking [at who is available], but at this moment in time, going into Kent, we’ve got enough there with our own lads,” said Gale.
I’d love our own lads to do the business instead. If they don’t, then we might have to bring in someone from the outside. It’s up to them to deliver and perform.Yorkshire first-team coach, Andrew Gale
“If that changes then we’ll take it game by game.
“If we got an overseas for the Championship it would potentially be a batter, but it depends.
“As I say, I would love to not have an overseas at all.”
Gale, who is today poised to hand a debut to new loan signing Dom Bess, the 21-year-old off-spinner who has joined on an initial one-month deal from Somerset, has the same approach when it comes to T20.
There is perhaps less chance of Yorkshire signing an overseas player for that tournament, which Yorkshire have never won since its inception in 2003.
“It depends on the quality of overseas out there and what we’d actually be looking for, but at this moment in time I still think we’ve got enough in-house to go into the knockout stages of the T20,” said Gale, whose side start that competition on July 19.
“We’ll have Dave [Willey] back in the mix [after England duty] and, depending if Adil [Rashid] is picked in the Ashes, we might have Adil back.
“We saw when they were unavailable for the second half of the Royal London Cup that it changes the balance, and with Dave batting at three, especially in T20, it means we bat down to eight/nine, whereas if you take him out of it and Rash’s batting as well, it’s a different story.
“If there’s funds there then we might sign someone for T20, but it depends whether we sign someone in the Championship, because if we do get an overseas in the Championship then we might not be able to afford one in T20.”
Bess, who played two Tests for England last summer, the last of them at Emerald Headingley, will bolster Yorkshire’s spinning strength – one of two main areas they are trying to address.
The other is the top-order batting that has so far relied heavily this year on Root and Gary Ballance.
Yorkshire are confident that they have the seam bowling strength to challenge for the title, with key man Ben Coad set to return today. The 25-year-old sat out the entire eight-match Royal London Cup campaign.
“Ben was rested for the first four games and then it was hard to get him in,” said Gale.
“It was 50/50 whether he was going to play at some stage, but he missed out.
“He’s our prize asset in red-ball cricket and, first and foremost, when we mapped the year out for him it was to get as many red-ball games out of him as we can.
“He knows that, and I’ve got to be sure – especially with a block now of eight Championship games in a row – that we can get up to eight games out of him.”
Yorkshire go into today’s match second in the fledgling First Division table, 11 points behind leaders Somerset and four points above third-placed Kent.
Kent, who won promotion last year, lost their first game by 74 runs to Somerset at Taunton before beating Warwickshire by eight wickets at Edgbaston.
Yorkshire have not played a Championship match at Canterbury since a rain-ruined draw in April 2012.
“Kent have started off well and there’s no easy games in the First Division,” said Gale. “Anyone can beat anyone. But we go down there full of confidence and, if we do what we can do, like we did at Hampshire, then we can definitely get a result.
“We put in the perfect four-day performance, if you like, down at Hampshire and now that the Royal London is out of the way we need to try and pick up from where we left off.”