ANTHONY McGRATH expects Andrew Gale to still play a significant role in Yorkshire’s title run-in even though it won’t be with the bat and as their on-field captain.
Gale’s will miss their LV= County Championship matches against Nottinghamshire and Somerset having been banned for verbally abusing Ashwell Prince during Tuesday’s third day of the Roses match.
McGrath, Gale’s predecessor as Yorkshire skipper, has expressed his disappointment for his ex- team-mate’s plight, admitting “it must be heartbreaking for him really”.
But he believes the 30-year-old left-hander, a firm subscriber to the theory that there is no i in team, will dust himself off and be ready to help out down at Trent Bridge next week in whichever way he can.
Gale took to Twitter yesterday to admit: “Words can’t describe how gutted I am to be missing the last few games, but live by the sword die by the sword.
“I’ve worked all my career to get my hands on that little trophy, and I’m confident in the boys that they’ll get the job done.
“The boys were outstanding this week. @lythy09 & @AdilRashid03 are playing a different game at the moment. Really proud of each and everyone.
“The support I have had over the last 24hrs has been overwhelming and shows how good our following is.”
And McGrath said: “It’s happened now. You can’t do anything about it. Some players will dwell on it, but I’m sure Galey’s view will be “I’m going to be at the ground and will help in any way I can’.
“To be going into a game without your captain when you can secure the league next week, if not next week then the week after, on a personal front, it must be heartbreaking for him really.
“From the team’s point of view, you want your captain to be playing. He’s been captain for a few years now, since 2010.
“The game we lost down at Middlesex, he wasn’t involved in, so it’s just a shame.
“I don’t know the ins and outs of the incident, but the powers that be have seen fit to give him a two-game ban. You can see why there’s a tinge of disappointment after the victory with the realisation of Galey’s ban.
“He’ll have missed three matches, but he’s played a huge part in the other 13 matches, and you can’t forget that.”
Joe Root is expected to return from England limited overs duty to play and captain the side in the last two matches. Gary Ballance should also return to the fold.
Those two will come in for Gale and Kane Williamson, who will be unavailable due to his commitments with Northern Districts at the forthcoming Champions League T20 competition in India.
Had Gale been available, the likelihood is that York’s Jack Leaning would have missed out despite his impressive contribution this season. Gale finishes his season with 562 runs from 13 matches with two hundreds, one half-century and an average of 43.23.