The new managing director of Yorkshire cricket has appointed a seven-strong coaching and support staff to help with the club’s pre-season preparations.
If the quality of names is anything to go by, including the former Yorkshire pace bowlers Ryan Sidebottom and Steve Harmison, then this interim septet bodes well for the calibre of the permanent staff who are set to follow.
Gough’s “magnificent seven”, if they can so be termed, is spearheaded by Tim Boon, the former Leicestershire coach and England support coach, who is leading training with assistance from Sidebottom and Harmison.
Additional coaching is being provided by Martin Speight, the former Durham and Sussex wicketkeeper/batsman, who is the director of cricket at Sedbergh School, plus the ex-England women’s coach Paul Shaw, the fielding specialist Cookie Patel and the Northern Diamonds performance coach Richard Waite.
The “magnificent seven” could increase in number depending on availability as Yorkshire seek to fill a raft of vacancies.
The county lost all of their coaching and backroom team due to the racism affair which has accounted for at least 20 officials at various levels of the club, who were either sacked or resigned as a result.
Yorkshire have confirmed that none of the coaches providing temporary support have applied for any of the permanent vacancies which Gough is now working tirelessly to fill.
The deadline for the new head coach role has now passed, with interviews set to take place shortly. Ideally, Yorkshire want someone who is presently out of work or else able to take up the job sooner rather than later, although Gough will not compromise in his determination to get the right individual.
Ottis Gibson, the former England bowling coach who is now working with Bangladesh, is reportedly a leading contender to fill the position held for the past five years by Andrew Gale.
As Yorkshire step up preparations for the coming season, with the players having now returned to training following the Christmas break, Gough spoke warmly of the seven men who have stepped in at short notice to help the club.
“I am delighted that we have been able to secure interim support of the highest quality,” said Gough, who was himself appointed on an interim basis until the end of the forthcoming season following the departure of Martyn Moxon.
“All have many years of experience between them, and our players will hugely benefit from their vast knowledge and expertise.”
There is certainly plenty to occupy players and coaches as Yorkshire gear up for a flying visit to Pakistan to take on Lahore Qalandars in a ground-breaking fixture at Gaddafi Stadium on January 16.
The match celebrates the start of a new partnership between Yorkshire and the Qalandars which will include a player exchange programme, scholarships for young and aspiring players, the chance for Yorkshire to learn from and to emulate the Qalandars’ player development programme (which provides opportunities for young talent regardless of background), and for academy players from both teams to play and train in different conditions.
Haris Rauf, the Pakistan fast bowler whose achievements on the international stage have symbolised the success of the Qalandars’ player development scheme, is joining Yorkshire as an overseas player for the coming season.
In a further strengthening of ties, Yorkshire batsman Harry Brook will play for Qalandars in the forthcoming Pakistan Super League tournament.