Friday, 11 January 2013

Yates tips Yorks for 2013 success

Yorkshire have what it takes to achieve success in their 150th anniversary season. That's the opinion of our latest speaker, Lancashire's assistant coach Gary Yates. Yorkshire have recruited well over the winter, reckoned Gary, increasing competition for places in the team with the signature of highly rated pace bowler Jack Brooks from Northants, and former England man Liam Plunkett from Durham. Lancashire too were interested in signing Brooks, he revealed, but they came off second best on this occasion. Gary also explained exactly why Lancashire's young players had managed to win the county championship in 2011, why they suffered unexpected relegation in 2012, and why he backed them to bounce back straight away in 2013.

As coach to Lancashire's highly successful Second XI, Gary gave us a fascinating insight into modern coaching ideas and how he goes about developing aspiring test and county cricketers. As a spin bowler he provided an action close-up of the doosra and the teesra, leading to a lively discussion on their legality and their role in the modern game. And as a close friend of England captain Mike Atherton, dating as far back as their time together as classmates at Manchester Grammar School, he painted a warm portrait of the man behind the public face.

In the week when Shane Warne and Marlon Samuels clashed in the Big Bash League,  Gary also gave us a glimpse of the way we would surely prefer to see cricket played. In 1990 he made his championship debut against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge. Batting at nine, he was 45 not out at the end of day one - with Peter Martin for company and only Paul Allott to come. The following morning Martin was out straight away but the tenth wicket partnership flourished. Then came disaster. With his score on 72 Gary joined the legion of batsmen fooled by Franklyn Stephenson's slower ball. Hit flush on the elbow attempting to hook, he fell to the floor and lay there fearing the worst. Surely he wouldn't be forced to retire hurt? But help was on its way - and from an unexpected quarter. 'Come on, Gary. You can do it,' said Nottinghamshire's Derek Randall, appearing at his side. 'Only 28 more to go and you've a century on debut.' Randall's confidence was well founded. Yates and Allott added 116 for the last wicket, and 'in a superb ... chanceless innings' of 106 Gary became only the fourth Lancastrian to score a hundred in his first championship match.

Don't miss our next meeting at Humberside Police Sports Club on Wednesday 13 February, when our speaker will be Matthew Wood, former Yorkshire and Glamorgan opener, and now a Personal Development Manager with the PCA.