NAME: Andrew William Gale DOB: November 28, 1983, Dewsbury ROLE: First XI Coach
Andrew Gale was appointed as First XI coach in November 2016 after serving with such distinction as a player and captain.
Following the departure of Jason Gillespie, the former batsman took up the coaching role, ending a memorable 14-year playing career at Emerald Headingley.
Gale was Yorkshire’s youngest ever professional captain when appointed at the age of 26 in December 2009.
He was a vital part of the county’s batting unit, whether it be in the middle order in four-day cricket or against the new ball in the limited overs arena.
A bullish left hander, Gale came through the Academy at Headingley and played international age group cricket from under 15s to under 19s.
He led Yorkshire to their first Specsavers County Championship title since 2001 in 2014 before adding another 12 months later. Gale achieved the dream scenario of lifting the title at Lord’s after winning the latter.
A highly respected leader who also skippered the England Lions, his rein as county captain was not without incident.
He came within a whisker of leading his troops to Championship glory in his first season in charge 2010 before relegation struck the following season. He did, however, ensure his players responded in the best possible way by leading them to promotion from Division Two in 2012 as well as to the t20 final and to the prestigious Champions League event in South Africa.
In 2013, he led his side to second in the table upon Yorkshire’s return to Division One. The White Rose were the front runners in the title race for large parts of the season.
Gale, the co founder of the ProCoach Cricket Academy with ex Tyke Chris Taylor, has 20 first-class hundreds under his belt.
He started out in league cricket at Gomersal as an eight-year-old, and he has also played for Driffield and Bradford League side Cleckheaton, the club he calls home.
After playing for Yorkshire’s Academy and England under 17’s in the two years previous, Gale made his second XI bow against Durham at Chester le Street in April 2002. He scored an unbeaten 164 versus Leicestershire seconds in August.
In 2003, Gale played at iconic venues such as the MCG and SCG whilst touring Australia with England under 19s in February and made a total of nine international appearances for them at that level. In the summer of 2004, he debuted for Yorkshire’s first team in all three formats of the game, including Championship bow against Somerset at Scarborough in July. He scored nought and nine as an opener.
In only his seventh Championship appearance, against Warwickshire at Scarborough two years later, 149 off 208 balls from number six signalled a maiden first-class ton and contributed to a thumping Yorkshire win.
In 2008, he scored three Championship hundreds in the season and was awarded his county cap.
2009 was a landmark year.
Gale smashed a Twenty20 career best 91 off 55 balls in a win against Notts at Emerald Headingley in June before posting 274 runs in three successive Championship innings against Nottinghamshire (99) and Lancashire (54 and 121) the following month on the way to 900 plus runs for the season. He Captained the England Performance Programme team on winter tour of South Africa in early December before succeeding Anthony McGrath as Yorkshire captain later that month.
Things continued to go well for the big Huddersfield Town fan.
He led England Lions to a notable Twenty20 win over England full side ahead of the latter’s series against Pakistan in the UAE in February, and made a stunning start to life as Yorkshire’s captain with a maiden 40 over ton in a record breaking win against Essex at Chelmsford in April.
He had the knack of making a series of successful bowling changes early that summer, but just missed out on Championship glory during the season’s final day having scored a magnificent career best 151 not out during a memorable win over eventual champions Notts in early September.
But there was a roadblock in the form of 2011 as he missed the majority of a Championship relegation summer with a broken arm before a hip problem disrupted 2012, although not enough to prevent him leading Yorkshire to Championship promotion, the 20-over final and into the Champions League main phase in South Africa.
2013; Gale posted a career best first-class score of 272 in a Championship draw against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough on the way to passing 1,000 runs in a season in that competition for the first time in his career.
He scored two more hundreds in a haul of 1,067 and warmed up for the 2014 summer with a winter in Australia playing grade cricket for Melbourne side Dandenong.
It proved to be a strange old summer for Gale, who helped to claim the ultimate prize for the county, the Championship title.
He scored hundreds against Durham and Middlesex, yet he became embroiled in a heated argument with Ashwell Prince during a Roses clash at Emirates Old Trafford. It earned him a two-match ban, which meant he missed the last two four-day matches of the season and scuppered his chances of lifting the trophy upon ECB orders.
The charge, initially and amazingly racism, was downgraded by the board to improper conduct, and he was hit with a further two-match ban for the first two fixtures of 2015.
Yorkshire’s success ensured Gale’s disappointment in not lifting the trophy was significantly dampened as, in September, he did lift the trophy at Lord’s to a huge ovation from the MCC members. He enjoyed a superb year with the bat, passing 1,000 Championship runs for the campaign in the final round.
In August, Gale stepped down as the county’s limited overs leader.
Gale was appointed at the club’s new First XI Coach on Monday 14th November 2016, signing an initial three-year contract. As a result, he retired from playing, ending a spell as one of the most successful captains in Yorkshire history.
2017 proved to be a baptism of fire for Gale, whose side narrowly avoided Championship relegation. But there is every chance he will be holding aloft a trophy once more very soon.