Paul Grayson has today been appointed as the Club’s specialist batting coach.

Grayson, who will relinquish his duties as head coach of the Yorkshire Diamonds, as well as his role as coach of Durham University’s MCCU coach, will lead on batting coaching with the Club’s Academy, Second XI and first team on a full-time basis from March 1.

The 47-year-old, who began his playing career with a five-year spell at Emerald Headingley between 1990 and 1995, came out on top after a robust recruitment process which saw seven candidates interviewed by a panel comprised of Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon, First XI Coach Andrew Gale, Club captain Steven Patterson and 2nd XI Coach & Academy Director Ian Dews.

Grayson, who retired from First-Class cricket at the end of 2005, having scored 8,655 runs at 31.70, and taken 136 wickets at 44.39, will travel with the playing squad which departs for Potchefstroom, South Africa, for warm-weather pre-season training a week after commencing his new role.

Ripon-born Grayson, a left-arm spinning all-rounder in his playing days, told “Obviously, I’m delighted to be back. It is a role I feel that I can fulfil really well and I’m looking forward to working with a group of talented players.

“This is the perfect role for me. I have no intention of going back into a club to become Head Coach, I made that pretty clear in my interview. I feel that I specialise in batting along with a bit of spin bowling as well. I just want to support the other coaches, pass on my experience and my knowledge, and also work with the players.

“I hope to play that father figure around the dressing room. Galey (Andrew Gale) has been in the job for over a year now with Rich Pyrah. They are reasonably inexperienced coaches, so I hope that I can help those two. Galey is the main man who will make all of the big calls, but if he needs someone to talk to about certain things, I will try and help him out and along with the players as well.

“I had a great time at Essex, spending eight and a half years down there as Head Coach and working with some outstanding players. I have worked with internationals, top county players, and more recently I’ve worked in the women’s game and also at the university. I feel like I have a broad range of coaching, lots of knowledge and experience over the last 25 years in First-Class cricket. I’m hoping that I can bring that to the table working back at Yorkshire.”

The first job for the former Yorkshire player is to gain the trust of the current crop of batsmen, with a particular emphasis on red-ball cricket.

“My batting philosophy is very simple,” Grayson added. “It is about getting the trust of the players and working with them and doing some problem solving together.

“I’m not a teller, I’m a teacher, I want to work with the players. They have to drive their own careers and performance.

“As coach, I will give the players options and then it is down to them to perform. I think that white-ball cricket has been a success at Yorkshire over the last couple of years, but it is pretty evident that some of the lads need to improve their numbers in red ball and enjoy playing four-day cricket again.

“I’m not one of those coaches who is going to make technical changes to players, that is not the way that I work. That said, if someone needs to change something, I feel like I will be able to spot the difference. I think that it is more about being a figure that the lads can talk to. If they are playing well, keep them level and if they are not scoring the runs that they’d like to, make sure that they are not beating themselves up too much as well.”

“We’re delighted that Paul is re-joining the club,” said Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon. “Obviously, he has been working with the Diamonds for the last couple of summers but to come back to the club in this capacity is great news. He’s obviously a very experienced coach now, both from a batting perspective, but also leading the Essex first team for a number of years and having some success in that role. He comes back with bags of experience and will add value to our current coaching setup.

“He has a huge amount of experience, both in a batting role and as a First XI coach as well. He’ll obviously have that experience to help our to younger coaches, obviously Andrew Gale in particular and also Richard Pyrah, who is also in the first few years of his coaching career. It will afford those lads the experience to help them develop in their roles along with the rest of the coaching staff. It’s his experience, all-round experience, which finally swayed the decision and we did have some strong candidates. At the end of the day Paul was the best man for the job.

“The fact he’s played here before, although quite a long time ago, his affiliation with us is great and he knows what Yorkshire cricket is all about. He’s still got a passion for Yorkshire cricket despite all those years at Essex. That’s a bonus, that he knows the club as well as he does. Really, it’s about his ability as a coach and a manager that attracts us to him.

“With my role as Director of Cricket, a lot of the time is spent in organising and administration so the time to do hands on coaching is becoming more and more limited. When you look around the country now, Directors of Cricket are very rarely hands on with the coaching side of the club, so to get Paul in, who can focus solely on batting and working with batters from first-team through to the age-groups is really important. He’ll be working, in particular, with the young talent that we’ve got to hopefully bring them up to First-Class level, but also to give that reassurance to our internationals and our established first-team players. That’s a time consuming role and we need someone to fulfil that on a full-time basis.

“When you’re trying to bring on your own players as much as possible it means there are a lot of bodies to look after. We’ve found we’re a coach light in what we’re trying to achieve in developing our players from age-group to first-team cricket. We need that support and Paul is a very experienced coach and I’m sure he will be a great asset to all the players and the staff, not just the batsmen but everyone can tap into his experience.”

Grayson succeeded Richard Pyrah, now bowling coach, as head coach of the Yorkshire Diamonds in February 2017, meaning Gale knows all too well about his qualities.

“It’s exciting!” said Gale. “I’ve felt for a while we’ve needed a batting coach. The bowling group has been quite close and Richard Pyrah treats them as his own; I felt the batters needed that also.

“We have a good relationship with the batters in the winter but we know as soon as selection comes around it’s very hard for people to open up with the head coach. Paul has got a wealth of experience, he’s been there and got the t-shirt, he’s been in the game a long time and I wanted to bring someone in who could challenge me, as well as help me. Ultimately, it’s about helping the batting group to score more runs.

“It’s an exciting time for our batting group. We have got some very exciting young talent like Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who has been with the England Lions, and Brooky (Harry Brook), who came out of the blocks last year and started really well. It’s an important time for us and we know our batting hasn’t been what it should have the last few years, but certainly the potential and ability is there to get it right. Hopefully Paul can help make that difference.”

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