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Gale frustrated by Essex washout

— 16 April 2018

Yorkshire coach Andrew Gale was at least able to look on the bright side as he spoke about the prospects of play for this coming Friday’s clash with Nottinghamshire at Emerald Headingley.

Gale was speaking shortly after the abandonment of the opening Specsavers County Championship match of the season against Essex.

Not a ball was bowled owing to a wet outfield.

But Gale insisted it will be fine come the visit of Peter Moores and his men.

“We should be fine because the forecast is good,” he said.

“Someone told me it’s going to be warmer than Ibiza this week!

“That’s the sort of weather we need to dry the ground off. If that comes, we’ll be fine.

“I am confident it will go ahead.

“The outfield has got better, but only slowly. We just haven’t had any drying weather. This is the first time the sun’s been out, it’s been above 10 degrees and there’s been a bit of wind.

“That rain last night set us back. If it hadn’t rained last night, I reckon we would have played some cricket.”

This is the first time a four-day match as ever been abandoned without a ball bowled at Headingley, although there was a three-day Championship game against Leicestershire in 1967 that went the same way.

Ironically, in 1985, Yorkshire and Essex were abandoned at Sheffield’s Abbeydale Park. Essex were defending champions that year too.

In 1987 and 1992, Yorkshire were involved in three-day abandonments at Hastings and Oxford University.

For this match, both teams have had to settle for a five-point draw.

“It’s been incredibly frustrating,” continued Gale.

“Since we got back from South Africa (March 20), we’ve hardly had any time outside, never mind game time.

“But I’ve just said to the boys ‘There’s no need to panic’. They’re all in a good place mentally, they’ve worked hard in the indoor nets. We just need a bit of time in the middle now and we’ll be off and running.”

“Had we known what the weather was like, we could have gone (to South Africa) a bit later. We decided to come back earlier this year in order to get used to English conditions. Best made plans and all that.

“The ground is incredibly wet. You look at it from the edge and think it looks fit. But to get on it, it’s still splashing around.

“The builders have said at the bottom end that their building site is flooded from the water that’s drained off the ground. They are having to pump water out.

“It just shows the amount of water we’ve had over the last month.”

Essex were frustrated that, despite minimal rain fall during the four days, there was little work done on the problem areas of the ground.

But that was because Andy Fogarty and his ground staff were concerned that, with the water table so high, any heavy machinery would only bring more water to the surface.

Meanwhile, Ben Coad will play the first two days of Yorkshire’s second-team Championship match against Lancashire at Old Trafford as he recovers from a hip flexor injury.

“If everything goes plan, I’d expect him to be in the fold for Friday,” added Gale.

“Steve Patterson is adamant he will try and bowl this week, but it’s less than a week since he suffered a double fracture in his finger. That’s a long shot.”

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Yorkshire v Essex - Day 4 abandoned

— 16 April 2018

Emerald Headingley saw its first ever four-day abandonment as the Specsavers County Championship match between Yorkshire and Essex was called o...

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