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Yorkshire's Andrew Gale to be on song down in Dandenong
Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale is aiming to prove a point when he jets off to Australia on Tuesday for four months of grade cricket with Melbourne club Dandenong.
More importantly, the White Rose batsman also believes a spell in the sun down under will help him work on his game and fitness in preparation for the 2014 county campaign, starting in early April.
Gale, 29, is travelling with his wife and two-year-old daughter to play for a club captained by one-time England Test player Darren Pattinson. It is also the club side of current Australian Test players Peter Siddle and James Pattinson.
“I went out there as a young player, at 21-years-old, to play grade cricket in Sydney,” he explained.
“I had an absolute stinking five months out there. I hardly scored a run.
“But, in the scheme of things, it was probably one of the best things that happened to me. Up to that point, my career had been plain sailing. So going out there really toughened me up.
“I just felt like I wanted to go back and prove a point, as much to myself as anything. I want to go out there and dominate.
“I’ll be returning in the last week of February in time for the latter stages of pre-season with Yorkshire.
“I wanted to go away last winter (to New Zealand). But because of the hip injury I sustained during the summer, and with the Champions League having just finished, the physio wanted me to get that sorted back at home.”
Gale posted 1,000 LV= County Championship runs for the first time in his career during 2013. His final tally of 1,067 runs included one double hundred and two more centuries.
“I feel like in going away, I’ll be able to really concentrate hard on my fitness in sunnier weather,” he said.
“It’s also a good opportunity for my family as well. My little girl’s two-years-old, so this is possibly the last opportunity we’ll get to do this.
“I also want to develop my cricket. I usually try to go away around February time anyway. I went to Sri Lanka last winter, and I’m the sort of player who enjoys playing cricket all year round. I experienced that when I played for the Lions.
“If I can develop my game, I’ll come back in form, I’m sure.”
Gale will also get involved in coaching sessions with the Dandenong juniors during the week.
And he is confident his county team-mates back at Headingley will be in fine fettle upon his return ahead of the new summer.
“We’ve got a brilliant coaching staff at the minute,” he added.
“We’ve also got a good group of senior players who will lead by example, the likes of Ryan Sidebottom, Liam Plunkett, Jack Brooks, Steve Patterson. The lads will put in the hard yards – they always do.”
Meanwhile, the 2014 county fixtures are due to be released in the last week of November.
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