GARY BALLANCE has relinquished the Yorkshire captaincy following the health issues that forced him to take a break from the sport, with Steve Patterson appointed to the role for the rest of the season.
Ballance missed a fortnight of action last month due to what director of cricket Martyn Moxon described as “non-specific, fatigue-like symptoms”.
Although Ballance has since returned to action, he has candidly hinted at the anxieties that have persuaded him to give up the reins.
“It was obviously a big decision, but I think it was best to let it go,” he said. “I don’t think it was really affecting my batting, it just felt like there was quite a lot of burden, in terms of pressure and expectation, on me and it has got a lot tougher over the last few weeks.
“Patto (Steve Patterson) has been really good over the last few weeks; he’s done a great job and seems to be enjoying it, so I just think it’s the right thing to do going forwards. I’m always happy to help out in any way, whether it be Patto with the captaincy or the young lads needing advice.”
Patterson, who has also signed a new two-year deal, has led Yorkshire to the Royal London Cup semi-finals as a stand-in leader. The 34-year-old pace bowler will be a popular appointment.
I don’t think it was really affecting my batting, it just felt like there was quite a lot of burden, in terms of pressure and expectation, on me and it has got a lot tougher over the last few weeks.Gary Ballance
“It’s a proud honour and a privilege to be asked to do the job,” he said.
“I think Gary has done a fantastic job over the last year or two, but I think that giving him the freedom to just go out there and concentrate on his cricket hopefully means we can get the best out of him as a batsman.
“We know he’s one of the best in the country when he does that.
“I’ve enjoyed it (the captaincy) so far, and now I know that I’m doing it for the rest of the summer I can get my teeth stuck into it and hopefully make a positive contribution.”
Yorkshire have named a 15-man squad for Monday’s Royal London Cup semi-final against Hampshire at Southampton. They hope to have Cheteshwar Pujara available after the early finish to India’s Test against Afghanistan.
Yorkshire (from): Ballance, Bresnan, Brook, Brooks, Carver, Coad, Fisher, Kohler-Cadmore, Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Patterson (captain), Pujara, Tattersall, Thompson.