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Yorkshire to explore Kolpak route - Gale

— 10 October 2018

Yorkshire are exploring the Kolpak route as they bid to strengthen their squad for 2019.

Coach Andrew Gale admits there is a need to alleviate some of the pressure on the White Rose county’s young players, particularly in the fast bowling department.

Gale insists Yorkshire’s mantra of developing their own remains the main focus, although accepts signing a Kolpak is a change of tact having previously been reluctant to go down that route.

Yorkshire have already recruited Will Fraine, Mat Pillans and Josh Poysden ahead of next summer, with Pillans and Poysden having been on loan for the latter stages of the recent summer.

And there is more to come, with Gale also revealing an overseas signing is possible.

“We’re still in the process (of looking at recruitment),” he said.

“We’re looking at an overseas player.

“Originally we weren’t going to go for one, but given what we missed out on domestically, we may have to go down that route.

“We may also have to sign a Kolpak in the short-term just to relieve a bit of pressure.

“It is (a change in tack) because we didn’t always want to go down that route.

“We’ve always said we’d back our own. But, at this moment in time, we need to relieve some pressure on them and give them the time they need.

“Look at someone like Ben Coad. He’s performed really well, but he’s had two big injuries this year, and he can’t carry the burden of the attack just yet.”

When asked whether it was likely that the overseas would be a batsman and the Kolpak a bowler, Gale said: “Maybe, maybe. We’re just having a look what’s out there at the minute, talking to a few people and seeing where we’re at.”

Yorkshire signed separate overseas players for the Championship and one-day Cup and then the T20 Blast this year.

They signed Che Pujara, Kane Williamson and latterly Jeet Raval to play four-day and one-day cricket, while towering Australian quick Billy Stanlake was due to come for the Blast.

Whether the same thing happens again next summer remains to be seen.

“It depends on how much money is left in the budget,” smiled Gale.

“That is down to Mark (Arthur) and the finance team to see how much money we have left.

“The overseas situation has been disappointing for a few years because I feel we’ve signed some players with really good pedigree. But they’ve constantly underperformed.

“We’re not expecting them to set the world alight because attracting players and performing well with the bat at Headingley is hard.

“You look at all the international teams who come to Headingley, a lot of them struggle because, at this moment in time, it’s probably one of the toughest places in the country to bat.

“You wouldn’t expect someone like Pujara to come and average 15 in the Championship.

“All we want is an overseas player to be a solid, consistent performer for us.

“We’ve tried all sorts with overseas players.

“Peter Handscomb probably wasn’t a top level player when he arrived, and he underperformed in red ball cricket.

“Then you go for the high ones like Kane, whose availability is not that good although he performed well when he came.

“Pujara underperformed, Shaun Marsh did pretty well and since then his availability in English cricket has not been great.

“Then you go to someone like a Jeet Raval, who you think should be suited to playing in English conditions being from New Zealand, but he underperformed as well.

“You look around the country and it’s a bit pot luck with overseas players.

“Matthew Renshaw at Somerset performed well and was an outside pick really. He hasn’t performed that well for Australia.

“It’s not how it used to be with overseas batsmen.

“You used to be able to look around and see Mike Hussey, Darren Lehmann, Martin Love and Stuart Law, and you could book them in for 1,000 runs every year. That’s not the case now.”

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