Andrew Gale has been appointed as Yorkshier's captain     Getty Images
Andrew Gale has been appointed as Yorkshire’s captain Getty Images

Former Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale has ended his playing career to become the English county’s new coach in succession to Jason Gillespie, it was announced Monday. Gale will take over at the relatively young age of 32 after Gillespie stepped down at the end of this season following a last-round loss to eventual title-winners Middlesex at Lord’s that scuppered Yorkshire’s hopes of winning a third successive County Championship title under the former Australia fast bowler. It had been Gale’s intention, after speaking to Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon, to carry on as a batsman despite a poor 2016 season where he averaged a meagre 21. But he now finds himself ending a 12-year first-class career, seven of which were spent as Yorkshire captain. “This was a tough decision to make,” Gale said. “I said to Martyn at the end of last season that I would continue to play.

“When I was asked about it (the coaching role), it put things in perspective. When I drove into the ground a few weeks ago, I probably didn’t have the excitement to continue playing but now I’m really excited about the opportunity.” Gale saw off 15 other candidates for a Yorkshire post that became vacant when Gillespie made it clear he would be returning to Australia for family reasons, despite having no experience as a professional coach. But Gale said his knowledge of the players he had known since stepping into the Headingley dressing room in 2004 would compensate for his lack of coaching credentials.

“I feel I’ve got an advantage because I know the players well and I’ve got the respect of the players,” explained Gale. “The challenge is to bring the next generation through in the next three-plus years when the senior players start to retire and move on.” Gale, who played alongside several current England internationals, including Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid, at Yorkshire said he had considered becoming a captain-coach before deciding against any type of dual role. “I thought about doing both, but I don’t think I’d have done the job justice if I’d done both. I thought the right decision was to do one or the other.”

Former Yorkshire and England batsman Moxon, who made a similarly quick move into coaching the following the end of his playing days, was in no doubt Gale was the right man to replace Gillespie. “For me it was about making sure we have continuity. When we received all the applications, it became pretty clear to me that the best man for the job was actually within our group already,” Moxon said. “Initially Galey was not sure about ending his playing career at this time, however after thinking about it for a few days, I’m delighted that he accepted the position.”

Gale scored more than 8,000 first-class runs, including 20 hundreds, and was the youngest captain in Yorkshire’s history when appointed in 2009.