Andrew Gale is hoping to bite the hand that helped feed him during his playing career when Yorkshire tackle champions Essex in tomorrow’s Specsavers County Championship opener at Emerald Headingley.
Now a coach rather than a batsman and also a title-winning captain, Gale will lock horns with new Essex coach Anthony McGrath, a White Rose legend who scored just short of 23,000 runs across all three formats for the county.
Gale admits Mags was a big influence on his career, but also that he has no intention of repaying his debt of gratitude this weekend or again down at Chelmsford next month.
“I played most of my career with Mags, and he was someone I looked up to – a mentor coming through the ranks,” he said.
“I’m pleased he’s got the head coach’s job and hope he’s successful, apart from in that first and fourth game.
“He will be finding his feet just like I am. It will be a different challenge being a head coach to an assistant, but Mags is a good man and will do alright.”
McGrath has replaced Chris Silverwood as head coach at Chelmsford, moving up from his two-year role as the former fast bowler’s assistant. Silverwood is now England’s full-time bowling coach.
“I’ve not been back to Headingley in a professional sense since I left, so it will be great to see some old friends, the office staff and people like that,” he said. “My family will be there, so it will be a special four days.
“Last year, we were back at Scarborough, which is one of my favourite grounds. To be at Headingley first game, it’s just how these things seem to work. I’m looking forward to going back.”