The departure of the popular Australian coach Jason Gillespie has left a void at Yorkshire County Cricket Club after a very successful era at Headingley in which he masterminded successive County Championships.
Natural talk of Dizzy’s successor is rife given it’s a plum job at a prestigious club with all of its recent success and a squad packed with England internationals.
So, has anyone dropped out of the running yet?
England Assistant Coach Paul Farbrace was the early favourite as speculation got underway but has ruled himself out. The former Yorkshire second-team coach is currently taking a rest from his international role and misses the Bangladesh tour but is expected to return when England play India.
Ok, so who are the cricket coaches that might be in the mix?
Australian batsman Brad Hodge will line up for Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash at the tender age of 41, where he has also been assistant coach for the past two seasons.
Given Jason Gillespie is now the Strikers coach and there has been a cross-pollination between Adelaide Strikers and Yorkshire County Cricket Club from Jake Lehmann’s recruitment to Richard Pyrah working alongside Hodge to boost his coaching experience, the link is an obvious but credible one.
Quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald about his name being mentioned, Hodge said: “It means guys like Rashid and Pyrah, who came over here, have gone home and spoken only positive stuff. From that side of things, it’s really nice. But we’ll see if Martyn Moxon gives us a call.”
He goes on: “I would take it on board, digest it … but it’s a difficult life as a coach from talking to a lot of people, with the travelling and family. You have got to weigh all those things up and consider each and every individual in your family. Hopefully, it can all work out.”
World Cup-winning coach Phil Simmons is available after ending his reign as West Indies coach suddenly in September with what was coined ‘differences in culture and strategic approach.’
The fifty-three year old Trinidadian has won plaudits with first Ireland and the West Indies with his county cricket record including 1,244 runs and 56 wickets in 1996 for Leicestershire when they won the County Championship.
The Yorkies in other jobs…
Essex County Cricket Club has as pair of ex-Yorkshire players on their coaching staff where Head Coach Chris Silverwood led the county back up to Division One this year in his first season.
Meanwhile, Anthony McGrath is assistant head coach at Essex and while this is pure speculation on my behalf, I can’t see either switching counties given they are achieving things with Essex and are very early into their new roles.
To continue the Essex theme, Paul Grayson left Essex a year ago after eight years at the county to become Durham MCCU coach so might be like a crack at his home club where he made his debut in 1990?
It would not surprise you that while I have the phone numbers of a few international and county coaches rattling around my mobile sim card, I haven’t called those in current jobs to confirm or deny.
For those whom might be dusting off the CV and honing the interview skills, discretion is still the better part of valour twinned with a healthy respect not to offend a current employer.
It’s inevitable that when a role crops up of this significance, fans and media consider those with a tangible Yorkshire connection first and foremost. So, ex-England spin bowler Richard Dawson who was appointed head coach at Gloucestershire in January 2015 is another name doing the rounds.
Back in February 2014, Dawson was appointed coach of Yorkshire’s second team when Paul Farbrace joined Sri Lanka and has subsequently moved on to county action at Bristol.
Could Yorkshire County Cricket Club recruit in-house?
It may be the wrong timing for Yorkshire’s current crop of coaches but in the likes of Ian Dews, Richard Damms, Richard Pyrah and Ruan Louw, the county already has well qualified and experienced coaches and players who might consider applying.
What is the timeline for getting a new county coach at Yorkshire on board?
Pre-Christmas would be a broad guess. This is very early into the process and Yorkshire will want the right candidate but the county will equally be keen to appoint so there’s time to get to know the squad and start hatching plans for 2017.
I imagine the county will announce the process and timescale once the job is formally advertised and that may well be when or two surprise names emerge.
Much to decide…
Of course, there are bound to be names that surface in the press and others who are wisely keeping quiet and pondering an official approach.
Whoever joins, it a job with enormous potential. We are a county licking our wounds after being defeated by Middlesex at Lord’s to hand over the County Championship trophy.
There’s been a final emotional goodbye to Gillespie at the county’s awards evening and the #strongunit hashtag will no longer feature so prominently in Twitter timelines of county fans.
There has been signs of progress in the shorter formats but a trophy remains elusive so the Yorkshire project is one packed with opportunity for a cricket coach looking to enhance his reputation as it has appears to have done with Farbrace and Gillespie in recent years.
There are intriguing plates spinning in the background with captain Andrew Gale taking time out to assess his own future and a new coach will need to form his own view on the strength of the squad and what domestic or international signings will assist the drive for trophies in 2017.
Who would you like to see as the new Yorkshire CCC coach? Over to you…