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An all-rounder who bowled left-arm spin, Paul Grayson is one of a host of Yorkshire homegrown talent to progress through to play for England’s senior side.
Now, he is in the midst of a successful coaching career, with his current role as the White Rose county’s senior batting coach.
A trophy-winning head coach at Essex, Grayson has also been head coach of the Yorkshire Diamonds women’s team as well as head of cricket at Durham University.
In his playing career, Ripon-born Grayson scored over 12,000 runs across all forms and took exactly 350 wickets before his move into coaching.
He scored 16 first-class centuries. The first was for Yorkshire – exactly 100 – in a County Championship innings victory over Worcestershire at New Road in August 1994. The next 15 were for Essex, including a best of 186 not out in a draw against Lancashire at Colchester in August 2001.
Grayson made his first-class and List A debuts for Yorkshire in 1990 and 1991 respectively and spent the first six seasons of his career with his home county prior to moving on to Essex in search of greater opportunity.
In September 1997, he was a member of the Essex side which won the NatWest Trophy final against Warwickshire at Lord’s, though he did not bowl or bat in a resounding nine-wicket victory.
His solitary career five-wicket haul came for Essex against Yorkshire at Scarborough in late 2001, the final game of the summer. By that time, the White Rose had already been crowned county champions.
Grayson claimed 5-20 from 10 overs in the second innings of a 51-run victory for Essex. His victims were Michael Vaughan, Anthony McGrath, David Byas, Richard Blakey and Richard Dawson.
In 2000 and 2001, he played two one-day internationals for England – against South Africa in Nairobi and Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, claiming three wickets.
Following retirement, he transitioned into coaching and was head coach of Essex between 2007 and 2015. He oversaw a triumph in the Friends Provident Trophy in 2008, with Essex beating local rivals Kent by five wickets in the Lord’s final.
The county were a strong force in white ball cricket during his time in charge, and he also aided the development of England Test legend Sir Alastair Cook amongst others.
Upon leaving Essex, he headed back North and was appointed as Durham University’s head of cricket in 2015. He was in charge when they were crowned Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) Universities Challenge Final winners in 2018 – for the first time in eight years – after defeating rivals Loughborough University at Lord’s.
The University’s women’s team also made it to the finals – where they too faced Loughborough University – but were ultimately beaten.
In 2017 and 2018, Grayson combined his Durham role with that of head coach of the Yorkshire Diamonds women’s team in the Kia Super League.
He loved both roles, but admitted that the opportunity to return to county cricket was too good an opportunity to pass up and was appointed as Yorkshire’s lead batting coach in early 2019.
He is the brother of Simon Grayson, a highly respected football manager who has been in charge of the likes of Leeds United, Blackpool, Preston and Sunderland during his career. Paul is a big Leeds fan.