Former captain Anthony McGrath is returning to Yorkshire in a new mentoring role to help develop current players and also prepare them for the difficult transition to normal life following retirement.
The 38-year-old former all-rounder, who retired at the end of the 2012 season, will rejoin the club on a part-time consultancy basis to pass on his experience both as a player and since he ended his illustrious career.
It is a new role that Yorkshire have created as they make a positive step towards utilising the knowledge of former players – an area they have been criticised for neglecting in recent years.
“I think that is one thing that can be improved throughout cricket,” said McGrath.
“At Yorkshire we’ve maybe not had that over the last few years but hopefully this will be the start of it with more players becoming involved in the future.
“I think it’s important to keep the traditions going and when new players come in they will know what it means to play for Yorkshire and the expectations that go with it. It’s a different world now from when I was coming through but you still need to understand the ethos of the club and how it works.”
His primary role will be helping to mentor both the first team and younger members of the playing staff and pass on some of the knowledge gained while scoring 14,698 first-class runs during a career that included four Tests and 14 one-day internationals for England.
“Yorkshire have plenty of coaches and I think it would be very difficult to come in on the odd day and talk a lot of technique to the players,” he stressed.
But perhaps the most intriguing part of his new job, however, will be helping to prepare players for the transition from professional sportsman to normal life, which he has done successfully by combining media work with helping out with Yorkshire.
“Since my retirement a couple of years ago, I have learnt so much about life away from the game and it can be a difficult transition,” he added.
“Certainly my experiences and knowledge on how I came to terms with a new career can help those players that are starting to look at their future beyond professional cricket.”