YORKSHIRE Diamonds believe Paul Grayson is the man who can turn their Twenty20 fortunes around this year after the former England all-rounder’s appointment as coach.

Current Durham MCC Universities boss Grayson has agreed to combine roles and take over from Rich Pyrah ahead of this year’s Kia Women’s Super League campaign, which runs through August.

The Diamonds only won one of five matches last year, but the change in head coach has come about with Pyrah stepping up to first-team men’s duties as part of the county’s recent coaching restructure.

Ripon-born Grayson returns to his home county, whom he represented at senior level between 1990 and 1995, and he has signed a contract until 2019.

“I am thrilled we have been able to recruit Paul,” said Jane Hildreth, the Diamonds’ general manager.

“Paul will take the Yorkshire Diamonds forward and build a team who will be challenging for the title in 2017.

“Paul has a wealth of experience in the game having had a successful coaching career with Essex and Durham University.

“We are all excited to be working with him and look forward to welcoming him back to Headingley.”

After leaving Yorkshire as a player, Grayson, who represented England twice in one-day internationals, moved to Essex.

He finished his playing career in 2004 before his move into coaching.

Grayson spent eight years as Essex’s head coach before leaving Chelmsford at the end of 2015, winning the Friends Provident Trophy in his time in charge.

“I am delighted to be joining as head coach for the Yorkshire Diamonds,” said the 45-year-old, whose brother Simon is the football manager at Preston North End, and former boss of Leeds United.

“The opportunity to work with an elite female team is really exciting for me, and a role which gives me a fantastic opportunity to use my first-class coaching experience.

“I am looking forward to meeting up with players and the Diamonds support staff very soon and preparing for Super League competition.”

The Diamonds finished second bottom in the table last year, beating only Lancashire Thunder at Emirates Old Trafford in the final round of matches with a hat-trick from England bowler Katherine Brunt.

They start this year’s campaign with another Roses clash, this time at Headingley, on Friday August 11.

It is the same day as the men’s T20 Blast fixture between the two counties. Both will be televised by Sky Sports.