Andrew Gale: England missing a trick not taking Ballance on one-day tour

Yorkshire's Gary Ballance. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
Yorkshire's Gary Ballance. Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe.
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GARY BALLANCE has not been included in the England one-day squad for the winter tour to India and Sri Lanka and that is disappointing for him.

I think England are missing a trick there because he is one of the best one-day and Twenty20 players in the country, but for whatever reason, England don’t seem to see that and see him more as a Test player.

But I definitely believe in all three formats that Gary is one of the best players in the country.

It has surprised me a little bit as I thought Gary would have been on that trip.

He obviously hasn’t played much one-day cricket for England this summer, but if you give him an opportunity, Gary will take it.

For me, it would have been nice to see him on that tour.

As for Alistair Cook continuing with the one-day captaincy for the World Cup in 2015, I never really doubted that he would be in the team because the selectors have backed him all the way.

Obviously, it was nice for us at Yorkshire to lift the County Championship trophy in front of the home supporters at Headingley yesterday and get a good turn-out on the final day of our season in the game against Somerset.

It has all sunk in now and that ten-day break between games was really nice as it enabled us to sit back and realise just what we have achieved as a group.

It allowed us to enjoy the moment instead of just going into another game.

The lads had a chance to have a few beers together and celebrate. The break came at a good time really.

The last game against Somerset was notable for Alex Lees being awarded his county cap.

Leesy has been outstanding on and off the field for us this year.

They always say your second year is the hardest, but he has breezed through it and been an outstanding performer for us during this year.

It was an emotional moment for him when I presented him with his cap in the dressing room, obviously with all the stuff he has been through.

It was a pleasing moment for him to be handed the cap and I am sure he will kick on even more now.

A lot of players have been handed plaudits for us winning the County Championship and I do think one of the unsung heroes has been Steve Patterson. He does not always get the recognition he deserves; he runs in and does a lot of the donkey work for the other bowlers.

But Patto is the guy who goes for two an over and bowls eight, nine or ten over spells and gives his all every game.

Even with the bat, he has come in at eight and nine at tricky times and provided contributions and got stuck in. He is not frightened to roll his sleeves up.

He might not always get the plaudits in the press, but for me, he is the first name on the teamsheet every week. He is Mr Reliable and suits our attack really well.

We have got wicket-takers in there, but Patto gets the other guys the wickets because they can’t get runs off him, so they end up playing false shots against the other guys.

While the first team have enjoyed success winning the title, the academy have also done the league and cup double and here at Yorkshire, we pride ourselves on our academy in terms of the players who have come through.

You look back to those scenes at Trent Bridge and ten out of the 11 lads playing for Yorkshire had come through the academy and played there. We pride ourselves on that and the hard work that goes into that.

With England players coming and going, we are always going to need the next cab off the rank from the academy. I will back our academy lads to continue to come and do that.

Obviously, it was nice for us Yorkshire lads to parade the trophy at Elland Road last week before the Leeds United versus Huddersfield Town derby.

We got a great reception from both sets of fans; I got a great one off the Town fans, unfortunately that was all they had to celebrate all day really.

There was a bit of stick in my direction, but the way they have played in the last three or four weeks, I almost expected that.

I thought Town were not terrible, but definitely below-par. But I thought Leeds were outstanding. I have seen four Town games this season and they were the best opposition I have seen.

Throughout the winter, Andrew Gale will be doing coaching for ProCoach Cricket Academy. Check out their website for further details.

***Our exclusive Andrew Gale column is in association with Blacks Solicitors***

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