ANDREW GALE has described financing his own trip to Sri Lanka as ‘an investment in my career’.
The Yorkshire captain knows preparation for the new season is particularly important to him after a disappointing 2012 due to injury and loss of form in the County Championship, where he only scored 485 runs from 14 matches.
Gale and six White Rose colleagues, including York’s Jack Leaning, fly to Colombo this coming Monday ahead of an eight-day training camp.
“Basically it was due to be an Academy trip, but I expressed an interest in paying my own way to go out there and do eight days of full-on training. While the lads have got a week off here, I just felt that I’d benefit from some extra sessions outside,” explained the left-hander.
“They can be massive. When I was younger I went on something like this four years running until the Lions stuff came along.
“I’m particularly looking at working at my game against spin. Last year I probably didn’t have my best year against spin, particularly in the four-day stuff. I felt that my options were a bit limited at times.
“I’ve been working hard on that this winter. You can do as much hitting balls as you want inside, but it’s not the same as getting outside.
“It’s cost a bit of money, but it’s an investment in my career. I’m looking forward to it.”
Paul Farbrace will oversee the camp, where it is hoped the players will be able to pick the brains of Test stars Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara through the second XI coach’s links from his days as assistant coach with Sri Lanka.
“It would be massive if they can come and help us out a bit,” added Gale.
“I’ve played against them a few times, but to get up close and chat to them about the game would be brilliant for me and the rest of the lads.
“I got a bit of a taste at the Champions League when I was lucky enough to chat to Jayawardene, but if we can pick his brains on batting then, even if it’s just for half an hour, he’s one of the world’s best batsman. That can only benefit us.”
Gale, Jack Brooks, Leaning, Alex Lees, Eddie Wilson, Barney Gibson and Karl Carver return to Headingley on February 28 before the full first-team squad fly out to Barbados for their pre-season tour on March 11.