Ottis Gibson says the time taken out of the game by weather made it unrealistic for Yorkshire to set up a final day victory charge against Gloucestershire at Headingley.
Yorkshire claimed a 13-point draw from their seventh LV= Insurance County Championship match of the season.
The hosts dominated the first two days, posting a first-innings 550-9 declared thanks to centuries from young trio Fin Bean, George Hill and Matthew Revis. The coach had high praise for all three.
Unfortunately, Gloucestershire then responded in kind with 464 during a disrupted second half of the game. Only 38 overs were possible during yesterday’s third day, while the late afternoon and evening were disrupted again today.
It meant that Yorkshire opted to bat normally in the second innings, reaching 200-6, instead of trying to engineer a finish which could have played into the visitors hands.
Coach Gibson spoke about the loan signing of spinner Dan Moriarty from Surrey, the left-armer who claimed an encouraging 5-139 on his debut.
Gibson has also given his views on the ECB’s suggested sanctions revealed yesterday as a result of the racism issues faced by the club. That includes a heavy points deduction across all three competitions this season; 48-72 in the Championship and 4-6 in each of the Blast and One-Day Cup.
However, with confirmation of the sanctions not likely for another three weeks, it could mean that Yorkshire – still in contention – could in theory have won the Vitality Blast title beforehand. Finals Day is on Saturday July 15.
On today’s play, Gibson said: “I feel like when we’ve played well like we did in the first innings or like we did at Sussex, the weather follows us around. Yesterday, it just took too much time out of the game.
“Today, the idea to set something up was there in the back of your mind. But we knew there was weather coming in again this afternoon. Then, the question was, ‘Will we have enough time to set them something that’s realistic for us to have an impact in the game?’
“In the end, we opted to just play and see out the game. It’s still a frustrating last two days given the way we played in the first two days.”
With regards to the stunning performances of Bean, Hill and Revis, the Bajan continued: “Since last year, we’ve been trying to promote young players. George Hill played a lot of cricket last year and got 700 runs I think. There’s been a lot of investment as well in Matthew Revis, so it was really good to see him get a hundred. And Fin Bean, he earned his contract with that second-team 400 at Notts last year and has got two hundreds already in the first team this year.
“From that we’re absolutely delighted with the work we’re doing here to develop young players.”
Spinner Moriarty completed his debut five-for with the final wicket of Gloucestershire’s first innings today. It was Moriarty’s first of four likely Championship appearances.
He came into the side in place of Bess, who was given permission to join Warwickshire on a one-game loan. Bess claimed three wickets in a three-day defeat for the Bears and hit a second-innings 63.
Gibson said: “Bowling spin at Headingley is very difficult. Dom Bess bowling here, he’s not had the best of times. I felt like if we could bring in Dan Moriarty to work alongside Bessy, that would give us a better opportunity to win games. That was the intention.
“I’m not sure I’d have played two spinners on that pitch, I have to be honest. But there will be opportunities when we go away or later in the year to play spinners. Dan came in and gave us nice control, and he got five wickets.
“With regards to Bessy, he’s still our player. When I told him he wasn’t going to play this game, he asked to go on loan. But when his loan period finishes, he’ll come back to us. He’s been brilliant in the Blast. He is available for Friday night (Lancashire).”
Gibson, meanwhile, revealed that plans are afoot to bring in a short-term signing to cover the three Championship games captain Shan Masood will be unavailable for next month due to Test duty with Pakistan.
And on the ECB’s sanctions, Gibson said: “If you remember when I came here in March last year and this whole investigation was going on, I said, ‘It would be nice of them to let us know before the start of the season what sanctions there were going to be’. We’re sat here the following June and we’re still not sure what it is or isn’t.
“It’s frustrating because a lot of change has taken place here at Yorkshire, including myself being here.
“I feel like when this thing all started many years ago, long before I got here, the club was stripped of international cricket because of what had gone on. Then the ECB said, ‘If you want international cricket back, you have to satisfy us that you’re doing these things’. They gave the club a list of things, and Lord Patel came in and made some tough and uncomfortable decisions I would imagine.
“We got our international cricket back, which would seem to me to suggest that we’d satisfied the ECB and done the things they asked us to do in the first place.
“So to sanction a group of people who are trying to move the club forward doesn’t seem to me to make sense.
“It would be naive to think that we’re not going to get some sort of punishment, but it does seem a bit harsh. That’s my position as the coach of a fairly new group of players.”
Asked whether the points deduction would have any impact on his playing squad in regards to motivation should it prevent them from challenging for honours Gibson added: “No, we’re all professionals.
“What I spoke to the players about yesterday when the news broke was that the people above us, Stephen Vaughan and his team, are still talking to the ECB about the relevance of such hefty penalties given the fact we’ve implemented a lot of change.
“Ultimately, as players and coaches, we’re not rocking up to a game thinking, ‘We’re minus points’. We’re thinking, ‘Let’s try and win and put in a performance that is worthy of representing Yorkshire’.
“That’s what we try to do every day.”