Ali Maiden has spoken of his immense pride at joining Yorkshire as one of head coach Ottis Gibson’s new assistants.
The former University first-class batter has arrived at Headingley from Leicestershire, where he was the head of their Academy.
His coaching career has also seen him work at Durham as well as with England’s women, whom he helped win the one-day World Cup in 2017.
Stourbridge-born Maiden, 39, said: “I feel very privileged, and I said this to the boys a couple of weeks ago when Ottis did an introduction and we all said a few words.
“Driving through the gates is an honour. I still get goosebumps every day.
“The lads have been great. They’ve all been very welcoming, and I feel like we’ve settled in quite quickly as a coaching team.”
Maiden continued: “One of the reasons why I joined the club is that I feel it’s an exciting time.
“You can look at it in two ways. You can say it’s a hard time to come or you can say it’s an exciting time. And I’m very much looking at it as the latter.”
Maiden was appointed alongside fellow assistant Kabir Ali and second-team coach Tom Smith last month.
While Ali has been brought in to work with the bowlers, Maiden, a man with a first-class double hundred to his name, will concentrate on the batting side of things.
All three travelled to Dubai on pre-season tour alongside Gibson earlier this month.
“Having done it, I don’t think we could have done anything better than we have,” he said of the last month’s preparations for the new season.
“Going abroad to Dubai was the best way to integrate and get to know each other.
“We did some fun stuff off the pitch as a team, we spent a lot of time travelling together. All those little things were added to the cricket we played and the time we got in the nets.
“We got to know each other, and that’s the most important thing about coaching – getting to know each other.”
While all the coaches have specific areas of responsibility, Maiden is expecting them to spread the load.
He explained: “I don’t think we really see it as, ‘I’m the batting coach, you’re the bowling coach’. We all want to pitch in and help this squad and club progress.
“I think we’ll all work together and help each other, and I’m quite confident there’s no egos in the coaching staff at all.
“I’ll be mostly around the first team, but I’d like to get involved and help Tom with the second team, I’d like to get involved in the Academy.
“I have a lot of experience in that area and have a lot of passion for developing the batters throughout the club.
“I’d also be happy to get involved in the Diamonds if they feel I can be of use. I know a lot of the girls well, Dani Hazell for one, I also know Richard Waite well. I certainly wouldn’t impose myself on them, but I’d love to get involved with them too.
“I learnt a huge amount from working in women’s cricket.”
Maiden arrives at a county boasting four batters who have all played for England this winter in Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook, Dawid Malan and Joe Root.
“We’ve got a heck of a batting group – some unbelievable talent,” he said.
“There’s so much talent in the younger players, and when I say that I mean the likes of Brooky. We have a lovely mix.
“I have been doing a lot of video stuff so far, watching them go about it, and they’ve all been great.”
Malan is set to be a welcome addition to Yorkshire’s batting line-up for the early stages of the LV= Insurance County Championship campaign, with Maiden expecting big things from the former Middlesex left-hander.
“I threw quite a bit to Dawid in Dubai and was asking him questions, trying to get to know him and his game, so that if he ever asks me a question I know his game well enough to give him some advice,” added Maiden.
“He’s a very fine player, and he’s been batting well.
“He’ll be raring to go and will have the bit between his teeth.
“We’re hopeful we may get a few more lads back as well. Joe, fingers crossed, for a few games.”