Richard Dawson returned to Yorkshire as second XI coach ahead of the 2014 season with big shoes to fill following Paul Farbrace’s departure to take on the head coach’s role with Sri Lanka and then, later, England’s assistant coach.
Dawson, who started his playing career with Yorkshire and graduated through to Test match cricket as an off-spinner during that time, built his reputation as a coach with Gloucestershire, where he was the spin bowling coach at Nevill Road and their specialist one-day coach.
Doncaster-born Dawson played seven Tests for England between 2001 and 2003, all away from home in India and Australia, and took eleven wickets.
Released at the end of the 2006 season by the Yorkshire hierarchy, he moved to Northamptonshire for one season before finishing his playing days at Gloucestershire in 2011, more accurately in their second team.
His return to the county proved a popular decision, with him contributing to the first XI’s Championship win and the Academy’s Yorkshire Premier League and Cup double.
1996 – Debuted for the Yorkshire Academy in a three-day match against Scotland B at Bradford Park Avenue in July, a month short of his 16th birthday, and returned figures of 0-12 from six overs.
1997 – Played for England under 17s in an International Youth tournament in Bermuda against Denmark, Holland and Ireland in July as a batsman, only bowling once in three matches. Debuted for Yorkshire’s second XI in a two-day match against Scotland B in August – again at Bradford Park Avenue to add symmetry to his Academy debut.
1998 – Took 4-40 from 17.2 overs in the first innings of a Second XI Championship match against Hampshire at Todmorden in July.
1999 – Toured New Zealand with England under 19s through January and February, taking seven wickets in a match against a Wellington Emerging Players side. Made his List A debut for Devon in the NatWest Trophy against Berkshire in May, taking a wicket to help his side set-up a third round tie with Worcestershire the following month. Scored 30 and took 2-32 from 10 overs in defeat. Also played for England under 19s against Australia later in the summer and toured South Africa with the British Universities in December.
2000 – Played Minor Counties cricket for Devon in the early part of the summer before making his first-class debut for the British Universities against the touring Zimbabweans at Cambridge in June.
2001 – Made his Yorkshire debuts in both one-day and Championship cricket in the space of six days at the end of June. Returned 0-22 from seven overs of a National League game against Northamptonshire at Headingley before taking a wicket in a Championship win over Leicestershire at the same venue. He played regularly through the rest of the summer and enjoyed an excellent end of to the campaign, including two six-wicket hauls in the Championship against Surrey and Glamorgan as Yorkshire won the title. His 6-82 against Glamorgan in the title clincher at Scarborough proved to be a career best haul. It earned him a place on England’s Test winter tour of India at the age of 21, and he took what proved to be a career best 4-134 at that level in the first innings of the first Test at Mohali.
2002 – Helped Yorkshire to the Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy title in August, taking 23 wickets in all forms of one-day cricket that summer. After failing to play a summer Test, he was picked to tour Australia as part of the Ashes squad in the winter and played in four of the Test matches either side of the New Year.
2003 – Toured Sri Lanka with the ECB National Academy side in February and March, taking eleven wickets in all matches. Played first and second XI cricket for Yorkshire during the domestic summer. The second XI won the one-day Trophy title.
2004 – Selected in England’s 30-man party for that summer’s Champions Trophy, but did not make the final cut. Took nine wickets in a 320-run Championship (Division Two) win over Durham at Chester-le-Street in June. His 5-40 in the first innings proved to be his last five-for in a Yorkshire shirt.
2005 and 2006 – He still played regular first-team cricket for Yorkshire during these two summers, but was released at the end of the 2006 on financial grounds.
2007 – Had one season at Northamptonshire before opting to train as a journalist.
2009 – Having signed for Gloucestershire ahead of 2008, he made his final first-class appearance against Kent at Bristol in September, although did not bowl.
2010 and 2011 – In 2010 he made the last of his 42 Twenty20 appearances and in 2011 his last appearance as a professional cricketer came in the Clydesdale Bank 40 against Glamorgan at Cardiff in May, taking 1-21 from six overs. He started work as a spin bowling coach with Gloucester in November 2010 and graduated through to become the county’s specialist one-day coach. In October 2011 he started work as a spin bowling consultant with the ECB, working predominantly with their age-groups sides.
2014 – Returned to Yorkshire as their second XI coach, aged only 33, replacing Paul Farbrace. With title success above him at first XI level and below him at Academy level in his first summer back at Headingley, Dawson should take credit for his role in the development of a number of key players, most notably Jack Leaning, who graduated from second to the first team with great success in the opening stages of the season.