Yorkshire CCC captain Steve Patterson prepared to continue in charge

STEVE PATTERSON has revealed that he would like to continue as Yorkshire captain as he reflected on a challenging year for the club.

Ready to lead again: Yorkshire's Steve Patterson against Surrey at Scarborough.

Patterson said that he would be willing to take on the role again next season in the final year of his contract.

The pace bowler, who turns 36 next week, added that he would consider playing on beyond that point but said that no discussions had yet been held in that respect or with regard to the captaincy.

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Patterson expects to sit down shortly with Martyn Moxon, the Yorkshire director of cricket, and Andrew Gale, the first-team coach, to discuss the way forward.

As the second day of Yorkshire’s County Championship match against Warwickshire at Edgbaston was washed out, with the visitors’ first innings total stuck on 261-2, Patterson outlined his personal situation.

“We’ve had no discussion yet about whether I continue as captain or not,” he said. “It’s a conversation I’ll have with Martyn and Galey, but it’s not something I’ve even thought about really.

“I’d be more than happy to carry on doing it if they want me to. With so many young lads, it’s an important time to have a couple of senior players around kind of keeping things calm and consistent, but, as it stands right now, I haven’t thought too far ahead.”

Patterson, who took over the leadership last summer from batsman Gary Ballance, has presided over a challenging campaign in which Yorkshire have slipped away in the last couple of weeks to fall from third place to fifth in the Championship going into this week’s final round.

The club failed to reach the knockout stages of the One-Day Cup and the T20 Blast, with batsman Tom Kohler-Cadmore taking the reins for a number of white-ball fixtures while Patterson rested.

“I’ve enjoyed it and it has been a challenge,” said Patterson.

“Obviously it’s difficult because, as a player, I played in teams that had a lot of senior players and we had some success for a period of years, and captaining a young side can be tricky at times because you can’t perform magic tricks, if you know what I mean.

“At times, you’re maybe looking for guys to go out there and do things for you and they’re maybe not experienced enough to do that, or they’re not developed enough to do that yet, so you have to have a level of patience, which we’ve tried to show this year.

“You’ve got to try and find a way with the players you’ve got and compete the best that you can.”

Patterson continued: “Over the winter, as a club, we’ve got to decide whether to continue down that route and keep backing what we’ve got or whether we need to add one or two players in there to strengthen in certain areas and give ourselves a better chance, because the one thing we know for certain is that, at Yorkshire, we’re expected to win.

“We’re all about trying to develop our own and to give younger lads opportunities, but we need to see a level of performance as well because, if we don’t, then we’re not going to compete, and we know that if Yorkshire are not competing that there will be a lot of questions asked.

“Going into this game, I just wanted us to really compete and to give it our all after a couple of disappointing results.

“We’ve been a bit low on confidence, but we want to get round each other, pick each other up and show we’re better than what we’ve shown these last two weeks.”

Patterson was unhappy with his own performance, as well as that of his side, when Yorkshire lost by a club record margin of 433 runs to Kent at Headingley last week, which followed a 298-run drubbing to Somerset at Taunton.

He returned match figures of 1-149 from 32 overs against Kent but, overall, he has had another decent year, with 36 Championship wickets at 29.16.

“I always try and take the captaincy aside and look at it and say, ‘Have my performances been up to a level to deserve a place in the side?’” he said. “And, other than against Kent, when I personally had a poor week, I think my performances this year have justified my place, and my personal goal is to continue performing at that level.

“As to whether I carry on playing beyond next season, I don’t know. Again, it’s a conversation to be had, where we’re looking at going, and what direction we’re going in, but I think the age factor is irrelevant and it’s your performance that counts.”

Patterson concluded: “I don’t want to be in the team as just a captain. I want to be in the team as one of the best four or five bowlers, and I need to make sure that I’m always performing at a level to justify my place.

“I feel I’ve justified it this year as I have, I would argue, the last few years, and it’s about trying to continue that.

“If I do, then there might be a discussion of whether I play longer.”