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GIBSON PLOTS ROUTE TO RECOVERY FOLLOWING RELEGATION

— 29 September 2022

Ottis Gibson says winter recruitment will form a significant part of the strategy to ensure Yorkshire bounce back strongly in 2023 after the county were relegated to Division Two of the LV= Insurance County Championship.

Yorkshire’s defeat against Gloucestershire inside three days at Headingley yesterday was followed by Warwickshire defending a target of 139 to beat Hampshire at Edgbaston today.

Liam Norwell’s 9-62 bowled Hampshire out for 133 and means Yorkshire will join Gloucestershire in Division Two.

Gibson said immediately after defeat at Headingley yesterday that if Yorkshire were relegated: “It’s our own fault. We can’t blame any other factors.”

And, looking ahead to next summer, the former fast bowler said:“When you look at the way we’ve played in the last three games, we’ve struggled to make 200 scores, we’ve been bowled out in 50 overs more than once.

“That would suggest to me that we need to get into the market and do some recruiting and get others batters to complement what we’ve got already.

“George Hill, as a young player, has had a good season.

“For the young lads, it’s been fantastic learning. Some are learning on the job.

“We don’t need to strip everything back and get all new players, but we need some of the young guys to grow a bit and hopefully keep Fisher fit this winter and keep Coad fit.

“We still back the guys we have here, but the one thing I feel we need is competition for places. That will help us, if we have a stronger squad.

“Now that the season is finished – and I’ve already chatted to Darren Gough – we’ll sit down over time and see where the holes are in our group and where we need to add a bit more quality. Then we’ll try and see where we can add that quality from around the world.

“We have our overseas batter lined up already (new captain Shan Masood), and then we have the opportunity to look at what else we need.

“We need to look into the market and see if we can find probably another experienced middle order batter to complement what we’ve got.

“Do we need another overseas fast bowler or do we need another spinner to complement what Dom Bess has done this year? That’s a decision we’ll make later on in the winter.”

Gibson arrived at Yorkshire just over a month before the start of the season.

“When I met the group on March 1, we clarified our goals,” he continued.

“One was to stay in the first division and the next was to get to the Blast Finals Day. To do that in the Blast was fantastic.

“It was very disappointing on the day to make 200 (against Lancashire) and not have enough to play in the final.

“But to get there can only give us more strength moving forwards.
The win at Surrey in the quarter-final was amazing.

“The lads have shown a lot of character at times, but also some naivety in four-day cricket.”

Yorkshire won the opening Championship game of the season at Gloucestershire and then drew the next five before losing six out of the last eight games, including the last three against Essex, Surrey and Gloucestershire – all inside three days.

Gibson believes his side were “drifting” towards the end of the four-day summer. It was one of two halves, he said.

“We’re not going to make excuses, but at the same time we’ve missed a lot of runs from the start of the season,” reflected the Bajan.

“The young guys we’ve given opportunities to haven’t stepped up in the way that we expected.

“If you look at the season in two halves, the first half where we were making lots and lots of runs with our full strength batting line-up but our bowling wasn’t good enough to bowl teams out.

“Look at Northants, Kent at home, Warwickshire at home.

“Now, the second half of the year where you’ve got Coad and then Fisher, we can get the wickets but can’t make the runs to give them something to work with. We have to find a balance.”

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