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Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie gunning for 2014 County Championship crown
Jason Gillespie has urged his Yorkshire players to be more ruthless in the future as they look to build on this summer’s encouraging second-placed finish in the LV= County Championship.
The White Rose coach was as disappointed as anyone that they could not hold onto their 25.5 point advantage at the top of division one heading into the latter stages of the season, with Durham winning at Scarborough last month on the way to overhauling them.
But there are a number of reasons for cheer following their first season back in the top flight, such as young players progressing their games significantly and the manner in which they won matches.
“I think we need to build on what we’ve done this year and acknowledge all the good things we have done this season,” said the former Australia fast bowler. “We have done a lot of good things, and now we have to ask ourselves whether we can do some things better.
“I suppose you can look to a couple of games where maybe we haven’t hammered home the advantage, and that can be the difference between winning a game of cricket and either saving it or losing it.
“If we can build on what we have done this year for next season, the goal will be to try to win another game or two and continue to play that really positive cricket.”
Yorkshire finished the season with seven wins, seven draws and two defeats, and picked up £235,000 in prize money for finishing second, of which nearly £163,000 went straight to the players. Within that, a county performance payment of £50,000 went to the club.
Gillespie’s comments have been echoed by the county’s director of professional cricket, Martyn Moxon.
“We don’t want to be thinking ‘we did well there’ and then take our foot off the gas. We can’t afford to be complacent,” he said.
“This league is very tough, and you only have to look at Surrey being relegated after being favourites to win the Championship at the start of the season. We can’t take anything for granted.
“I think we’re a good team, and I don’t think there are too many weaknesses. But there are percentages here and there that we can improve upon.
“We’ve had two poor games, and you can’t really criticise the lads for having two poor games.
“We played some really good cricket this summer, yet we only finished second. It’s a lesson for us going forward that we have to maintain our standards. When you start out the season, you know every session counts. You can’t afford to be off colour at any stage.”
Meanwhile, Yorkshire are expected to announce the departure of former Australia Test batsman Phil Jaques today. Jaques has played the last two seasons as a domestic player on a UK passport.
The 34-year-old left-hander said ‘goodbye’ to his team-mates at The Oval on Friday before flying back to Sydney on Saturday. He is expected to retire from professional cricket.
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