YORKSHIRE BELIEVE that they will benefit from a coaching reshuffle brought about by The Hundred.
First-team coach Andrew Gale is to work with the Northern Superchargers franchise based at Emerald Headingley under their head coach Darren Lehmann, the former Yorkshire and Australia batsman.
And bowling coach Rich Pyrah will run the Yorkshire first XI in Gale’s absence during the five-week 100-ball tournament that takes place in mid-season and clashes with the One-Day Cup.
“I think it’s good for both their developments,” said Yorkshire’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon, with the club having encouraged and championed the move.
“For Galey to work alongside Darren is going to be nothing but beneficial for his experience; he’ll pick up tips from him and his views on T20/The Hundred, which are basically the same kinds of game, and also how Darren manages the team, the practice sessions he runs, and so on.
“We see it as great experience from Galey’s point of view.
We’re investing time in him, and I think he’s got all the qualities to develop into a top-class coach, but we do have to give him the time he will need.Martyn Moxon
“In addition, it’s going to give Rich a bit more responsibility during the 50-over competition, helping to develop his skills as an all-round coach, so we feel that it’s a win-win situation for Yorkshire.”
Gale will work alongside former Yorkshire and England all-rounder Craig White and Durham coach Neil Killeen as part of Lehmann’s support staff.
Yorkshire’s willingness to allow Gale to take what is effectively a mid-season sabbatical highlights their view of him as a long-term investment.
The 35-year-old has had a challenging time in his first three seasons at the helm after taking over from Jason Gillespie, but he is highly thought-of by Moxon and the Yorkshire board who see him as one of the country’s top emerging coaches.
Gale has had to manage a difficult transition from a successful era to what Yorkshire hope will now be the start of another one, particularly after the recent acquisitions of batsmen Dawid Malan and Nicholas Pooran, with an overseas spinner for County Championship cricket set to follow in the near future.
“As we’ve always said, Galey is a long-term appointment and you only learn by doing the job,” added Moxon.
“We’re investing time in him, and I think he’s got all the qualities to develop into a top-class coach, but we do have to give him the time he will need.
“We’ve been very open as to where we think we are (as a club).
“We’ve been in a transitional period, a finding-out period, in the last three years and we haven’t fallen off a cliff, which is what the plan was – to find out and kind of rebuild without falling off a cliff.
“We know we’re not quite where we need to be, but I do think that we’re laying the foundations.
“With the signings of Malan and Pooran, it shows our intent. We’ve got some good foundations in place.
“We’ve got a group of young players who’ve shown they’re capable in first XI cricket, we just need them to get experience now and more consistency.”
Not only will Yorkshire be without Gale during The Hundred, but also opening batsmen Adam Lyth and Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who were snapped up by Lehmann in last month’s player draft.
Lyth and Kohler-Cadmore have been far and away Yorkshire’s best batsmen in white-ball cricket, but Moxon is confident that the club will cope.
“They’ve been very consistent in the last two or three seasons in that format of the game, so they fully deserve their selection,” he said.
“It’s great for them, and obviously when you look at our 50-over team now, it gives our younger players an opportunity at the top of the order in 50-over cricket to hopefully dominate and progress as well.
“We’re not looking to play an overseas player in that format of the game (50-over) next year, so again it’s about finding out about our own players and seeing them play at a higher level.
“There’ll be some good players playing in that 50-over competition, some good teams, so it will be a good test for our players, and it’s very much something I look forward to – seeing how they cope with that.”
Yorkshire have six players involved in The Hundred in total, with England’s David Willey and Adil Rashid also snapped up by the Superchargers and Joe Root signed by Trent Rockets and Jonny Bairstow by Welsh Fire.
Moxon thought that a couple more Yorkshire players might have been recruited by the eight franchises but said that probably reflected the recent state of Yorkshire’s white-ball cricket.
“A few of our other players might have got picked but they didn’t, and I think that tells us we’ve got work to do in that format of the game,” he said.
“Last year, we had opportunities in white-ball cricket but we weren’t quite good enough to finish games off.
“That’s where we’ve got to improve in one-day cricket going forward.
“In those crucial moments, those key times, we just need to be a little bit better than we have been.”