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Jason Gillespie in tribute to Anthony McGrath as Yorkshire legend comes on board
Jason Gillespie says his players are learning from the best while Anthony McGrath is involved in his coaching plans for this week’s two Yorkshire Bank 40 matches against the Unicorns and Somerset.
The former White Rose captain has been recruited to help Gillespie out because Martyn Moxon and Paul Farbrace are with the second XI for their ongoing Championship match against Durham at South Northumberland.
The young Vikings side face the toughest test of their Group ‘C’ campaign today when they take on leaders Somerset at Taunton, although they will have been boosted by Tuesday’s win over the Unicorns.
Since retiring at the end of the last season due to a wrist injury, McGrath has undertaken his coaching badges and worked in the media both nationally and locally.
Not only a prolific batsman across all forms of the game, he was also a hugely popular figure inside the Yorkshire dressing room.
He saw the majority of Yorkshire’s Twenty20 matches from behind the microphone for the now defunct Yorkshire Radio.
“We had a really good chat after the game (Unicorns) about how it went,” said Gillespie.
“Anthony had some great observations, and the beauty of it is that he’s been doing some work in the media, so he’s seen all of our T20 cricket and a lot of our YB40 games. Martyn thought it would be a great idea to get him in.
“Having him come in now with Martyn and Paul up with the seconds in Northumberland has been great.
“All the lads know him and respect him, and we’re basically just tapping into his knowledge. He’s been having a lot of one-on-one chats with our batsmen about batting in one-day cricket, and he’s had some really good things to say in the dressing room.
“I’m absolutely delighted he’s made himself available, and he’s coming down to Taunton as well. Our lads can spend a bit of time with him and continue to learn from him.
“You learn from the best, and Mags was a wonderful cricketer for Yorkshire and England for a long period of time. He knows the game inside out, he’s watched a lot of our lads play, so sometimes hearing a slightly different voice has its benefits.
“All these lads have grown up watching Mags play – they hang on his every word. What he says is worth hearing, so I’m really pleased he’s agreed to come in for these couple of games.
“As a coaching staff we want to utilise our former players as much as possible, get them into the dressing room whenever we can either formally or informally just to spend time with our players.
“Our club has a very rich history. We want to tap into that knowledge.”
England Lions-bound duo Gary Ballance and Liam Plunkett will be excused from Yorkshire duty today ahead of tomorrow’s two-day clash with Australia at Northampton.
“We want to give them the best chance to perform for their country,” said Gillespie.
But Alex Lees, who is also in the Lions squad for that match, is expected to play before linking up with his country’s second string squad tonight.
Gillespie was going to leave him out as well, but his squad is stretched to its limits with the second XI and the Academy both playing.
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