Steve Patterson quit Yorkshire CCC captaincy after being told he wouldn’t be re-signed

THERE was barely enough time to pick the bones out of another defeat – Yorkshire’s third in four County Championship games – when the news came through that Steve Patterson had stepped down as Yorkshire’s captain.

Patterson, 38, announced his decision immediately after the seven-wicket defeat against Hampshire in Scarborough.

To judge by a short statement which included just one explanatory line – “it’s been made clear to me over the last few days that my career at Yorkshire will come to an end when the season finishes” – the decision was not exactly mutual.

Patterson might be knocking on in cricketing terms and more ‘safe pair of hands’ than master tactician, but he is something that Yorkshire do not possess in abundance – a reliable, consistent, economical bowler.

Final act: Steve Patterson, front centre, leads his team off for the final time at Scarborough after standing down as captain following the defeat. (Picture: John Heald Photography)

Rarely could the gulf in quality between a relatively young and inexperienced Yorkshire attack and a title-chasing one in Hampshire’s have been more ruthlessly exposed than by a line-up spearheaded by two world-class operators in Mohammad Abbas and Kyle Abbott, plus an extremely good one in Keith Barker.

Abbott took 10 wickets in the match as Hampshire cruised to a comfortable triumph, sealed with just over a session to spare after they made light work of a target of 214 on the final day.

Patterson will remain available for selection for the rest of the season and use that time to consider his future.

The last surviving member of the Yorkshire pace attack that won the 2014 and 2015 Championships, a man who has captured 477 first-class wickets for the club since making his debut in 2005, Patterson deserves the gratitude of a Yorkshire membership which is unlikely to bestow it in meagre measure.

Standing down - Yorkshire captain Steve Patterson (Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWPix.com)

“It’s been an honour and a privilege to captain the club for the past five seasons,” said Patterson, who has also taken 179 wickets 
for Yorkshire in white-ball cricket.

“I would like to thank those who entrusted me with the position, my team-mates for always getting behind me, and the members and supporters for their unwavering support.

“I would like to assure you that I’ve never taken the position for granted, and I’ve always given my very best in the interests of the team.

“It’s been made clear to me over the last few days that my career at Yorkshire will come to an end when the season finishes.

Yorkshire's captain, Steve Patterson (L) presents Jordan Thompson with his first team cap ahead of the match against Surrey earlier this month (Picture: SWPix.com)

“With that in mind, I think now is the appropriate time to step back from the captaincy. It will allow me time to consider my future, and to enjoy the time I have left playing at the club.

“I will remain available for selection for the remainder of the summer and, if selected, will give my all for the team as I have done for the past 18 years.”

In his post-match press conference, delivered before the Patterson news was announced, Ottis Gibson, the Yorkshire head coach, said that the club may look to strengthen its attack for the season’s run-in.

While another long-term signing is expected imminently, to add quality and competition to the bowling ranks, Yorkshire are not oblivious to the fact that they are hovering dangerously near to the relegation zone.

Only 17 points separates them from second-bottom Somerset with four games left, Yorkshire having now gone winless in nine matches dating back to their opening round victory at bottom club Gloucestershire.

Three of those remaining fixtures, which take place in September, are against top-four teams in Lancashire, Essex and leaders Surrey, but Gibson insisted he was not concerned as the Championship now takes a break for the Royal London Cup and The Hundred.

“We know exactly where we are,” said Gibson. “There are no concerns, but we are aware.

“We have played a lot of cricket this season. We didn’t have an overseas pro in this game.

“We went with Shannon (Gabriel) for a couple of games, but it didn’t pan out the way we expected.

“We might have a chat with ‘Goughie’ (interim managing director of cricket Darren Gough) and see if we need to get somebody in for the last four games, someone who is going to affect the outcome of games.”

Oh for an Abbas, Abbott or Barker perhaps.

After the Hampshire bowlers did their stuff with the ball earlier in the game, the batsmen finished the job on an overcast day at North Marine Road, where Hampshire resumed on 9-0 in pursuit of the other 205 they required.

Yorkshire needed early wickets or, as the non-imaginists like to put it, a “big first hour”, but once those momentous 60 minutes had ticked by, Hampshire were 53-0 and the pattern for the day had been set.

Felix Organ and Ian Holland, the Hampshire openers, were not parted until shortly after lunch, by which time they had added 135 in 39 overs.

Three wickets fell for 12 runs in six overs as Holland steered Ben Coad to first slip, Organ pulled a short ball from Dom Bess to deep mid-wicket, and Joe Weatherley was lbw to Coad, who made an impressive first appearance of an injury-wrecked summer.

James Vince (43) and Nick Gubbins (20) completed the formalities as Hampshire chase a first County Championship title since 1973.

It was a good year, 1973, and Hampshire look a very good side.