ANDREW GALE last night gave his take on the extraordinary events that led to him being recalled to the crease after he was given out on day three of the Roses match and said he has apologised to umpire Peter Willey for showing dissent at the initial decision.
The Yorkshire captain was adjudged caught behind down the leg-side for 25 off the bowling of Lancashire captain Glen Chapple only for Willey to dramatically change his mind.
Gale, who went on to score 95 not out as Yorkshire made 243 in reply to Lancashire’s 325 before the visitors closed on 48-3, a lead of 130, responded to the initial verdict by pointedly tapping his leg to indicate that he had not hit the ball.
After receiving guidance from square-leg umpire Ian Gould, Willey beckoned back Gale after he had walked a good quarter of the way off the ground towards the pavilion.
Gale, who faces a three-point penalty from the England and Wales Cricket Board for his show of dissent, said last night: “I’ve apologised to Pete.
“I should have walked off really because that’s the way you should behave in cricket. Pete admits it was a terrible decision and that he got it wrong, and I thought that was brilliant from him because it takes a brave man to do that.
“As I was walking past him on the field I said, ‘Pete, I’ve got a mark on my trousers here’ – I had a big red mark on my trousers where the ball hit me - and ‘you’ve got that one wrong, mate,’ in a roundabout way.
“He said, ‘Look, alright, come back’, and I was a bit shocked to be honest.”
The accumulation of nine or more penalty points in a two-year period results in automatic suspension under the ECB’s disciplinary code.
Gale, who received a reprimand but no points in June 2012 for dissent during a T20 game against Durham, a match Willey also umpired, explained: “The umpires will send a report form off to the ECB after the match and they’ll make a decision on what happened, and it could be that I get three points. At the end of the day, Pete made a mistake, I made a mistake, and I hope the ECB see that and move on.
“To be honest, I think Pete’s a really good umpire and I get on really well with him.
“I know he loves the Yorkshire lads and loves umpiring here, and it was just one of those things.”
Gale’s innings was the highlight of a below-par batting performance from Yorkshire, who resumed on 29-0 in glorious sunshine that made a mockery of fearsome weather forecasts.
Yorkshire have been short of their best in this match, while Lancashire have performed above expectations.
An opening stand of 66 between Adam Lyth, who scored 50, and Alex Lees proved a false dawn as the home side lost regular wickets against opponents for whom former England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff took part in pre-play warm-ups.
Flintoff is said to be eyeing a return in the T20 Blast – a prospect rendered more intriguing by the forthcoming Roses contest at Old Trafford on Friday week.
Lancashire’s most successful bowler yesterday was Tom Smith, the 28-year-old right-arm seamer.
Smith took 5-49 from 13 overs including the first three wickets as Lees was caught behind trying to drive, Kane Williamson caught at second slip pushing forward and Lyth held at third slip one ball after reaching his half-century.
Yorkshire fell to 136-4 when Jonny Bairstow was lbw to Kyle Hogg and then collapsed from 178-4 to 196-8.
Adil Rashid chased a wide one and was caught behind, Andrew Hodd was comprehensively bowled, Tim Bresnan held at first slip and Liam Plunkett lbw.
Gale added 38 with Ryan Sidebottom, who chipped left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan to mid-wicket.
Gale was denied a deserved century when last man Jack Brooks got a leading edge off Chapple, the Yorkshire captain having faced 113 balls and struck 13 fours.
With his team trailing by 82, Bresnan brought Yorkshire back into the game with a timely three-wicket burst.
He struck twice in five deliveries in his third over, having Paul Horton caught at second slip by Lyth and then trapping Karl Brown.
Bresnan then pinned Luis Reece lbw before bad light claimed the last 17 overs, with more bad weather forecast today.