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McGrath may yet get another innings at Tykes
Jason Gillespie has opened the door for Anthony McGrath to remain at Yorkshire beyond the end of this summer.
The ex-England all-rounder, now aged 36, is out of contract at Headingley at the end of the current campaign, which is his 18th season of first-class cricket with his home county.
Since scoring 1,219 runs from 16 first-class matches in 2010, he has struggled for consistency with his form during the last two summers, a lot of which can be put down to him suffering knee and back injuries at the start of the 2011 campaign.
The sciatic pain in his back was a knock-on effect from knee surgery, and he has since described it as one of his worst ever injuries.
But McGrath’s quality has been evident on numerous occasions this year, especially during the 90 he scored in the County Championship against Leicestershire at Scarborough in May and the 106 not out he scored against Hampshire at Headingley a couple of weeks later.
He is also valued as a crucial member in the dressing room environment off the field, often acting as a sounding board for young players looking for advice.
“We haven’t started discussions with Mags yet,” revealed Gillespie.
“He’s had a bit of an up and down season to date. He’s had some really good periods, though. And, in an ideal world, we’d like to keep him around.
“While it does come down to performance, which he’s got to do, that’s not the only thing we look at. He’s really fantastic with our young players. Our young batsmen, in particular, look up to him.
“Our initial thought at the start of the season and even now is that we’ll look to re-sign him. But a lot can happen. It also comes down to the availability of other people.”
McGrath is not the only Yorkshire player out of contract, with others such as Gerard Brophy to discuss their futures.
“All of our guys who are out of contract, we’ve told them that we’ll speak to them in August to give them the opportunity to go elsewhere if we don’t look to re-sign them,” said Gillespie.
“I know Martyn Moxon’s very big on the philosophy of ‘if we’re not going to offer a guy a contract, he’s got to have the opportunity to find other employment’.
“We’re going to be straight with them.”
Gillespie, Moxon and Andrew Gale are also starting to look at bringing new players into Headingley.
“We’re starting to have a look at our list and working out what we need,” added the Australian, who is particularly keen to strengthen his bowling attack.