YORKSHIRE have stressed that Andrew Gale is “a long-term investment” as first-team coach as they defended him from “unjustified” and “uncalled-for” criticism in the wake of the club’s performances in the County Championship.
Director of cricket Martyn Moxon said that Gale must be given time to develop as he called on everyone with Yorkshire cricket at heart to get behind the former Championship-winning captain and his players as they seek to pull clear of the relegation zone.
Yorkshire go into today’s match against Somerset at Emerald Headingley five points clear of safety and a Worcestershire side who thrashed them by an innings and 186 runs in their last outing at Scarborough to climb off the bottom of the First Division, a result that prompted a fierce backlash against Gale on social media.
While accepting that criticism of some sort was inevitable after such a result, Moxon said that Gale could be doing “nothing more” to turn things around and reiterated that the club are going through a transitional period on-and-off the field as they prepare for the first of five games that will determine which division of the Championship they will be playing in next year.
In a ringing endorsement of the man who led Yorkshire to back-to-back Championships in 2014 and 2015, and also Gale’s fellow coach Rich Pyrah, the former Yorkshire all-rounder, Moxon declared: “Andrew Gale is someone who I believe over the next few years will develop into an outstanding coach.
“In this period of transition, we need to get behind him and also Rich Pyrah and support them; if they keep getting hammered, then it puts more pressure on everybody, including the players, and that’s not going to help them perform as well as they can.
“Both Andrew and Rich are young coaches. It’s a long-term investment. We knew that, just as we knew that the team would have to be rebuilt and that we’re in transition.
“Similarly, we know that the appointment of Andrew and Rich are long-term decisions and we need to give them time to develop in their roles. With Andrew, we’re talking about a guy who’s won two Championships as captain. He’s Yorkshire through and through – as is Rich. We just need to support them and give them time. I’m confident that, together, we’ll have successful times again.”
As the man ultimately responsible for the entirety of Yorkshire’s cricketing operation, and who knows what it is like to suffer criticism himself, Moxon is well-placed to assess Gale and also to offer advice and support.
All he sees is a man working tirelessly for the good of Yorkshire cricket and the county’s loyal members and supporters.
Ultimately, it’s about performing on the field, and all I ask is that everyone gets behind Andrew and the players for the rest of the season, which will give us the best chance of performing to our capabilities.Yorkshire director of cricket, Martyn Moxon
“Criticism of Galey is unjustified and uncalled-for because I know how hard he is working, and how much passion he has for the club,” said Moxon. “He’s a winner – he’s shown that in his captaincy.
“I know the work that he put in over the winter with all the players, for example. I know what he’s saying to the players. I know what work we’re doing in preparation for matches, and there’s nothing more that he can do, quite frankly.
“Ultimately, it’s about performing on the field, and all I ask is that everyone gets behind Andrew and the players for the rest of the season, which will give us the best chance of performing to our capabilities.”
Gale is nearing the end of his second season in charge, having led the club to a fourth-placed finish last year.
A similar or even superior outcome is not beyond the bounds of possibility this time given the congested nature of the table, although Yorkshire will have to improve significantly on their showing at Scarborough.
“After a defeat like Scarborough, we’re going to get criticism because it was a heavy defeat and a disappointing result,” said Moxon. “That goes without saying.
“And, as coach, it hurts you more than anybody else, let me tell you, when things aren’t going well or you get beaten like you do at Scarborough. The coach feels it more than anybody.
“We know we’re better than what happened at Scarborough; it was a tough match, and a setback, there’s no doubt about it.
“But it wasn’t that long ago that we won at Lancashire and everything in the garden was rosy, and we need to dust ourselves down now and come back strong against Somerset.”
Moxon continued: “All I want the supporters and members to understand is that we are in transition.
“The players and coaching staff have all got my full support because I know how hard everyone is working.
“Clearly, we don’t want to go down (into the Second Division), and we’re still very much looking up rather than down.
“Everything is still in our hands, and we’re very optimistic about the next few weeks.”
Looking towards a happy return to Headingley: Page 20