Andrew William Gale
November 28, 1983, Dewsbury, Yorkshire
Left hand Bat
Top order Batter
Andrew Gale, a stalwart Yorkshire left-handed batsman and highly-respected captain with a strong sense of White Rose traditions, achieved a cherished ambition when he led his beloved county to a Championship title in 2014 - their first for 13 years. Much to the consternation of supporters and team mates alike, his greatest achievement was tarnished when the ECB banned him from taking part in the official presentation at Trent Bridge because he was serving a two-match ban for dissent in the Roses match. An ongoing investigation into supposed racist abuse against Ashwell Prince, Lancashire's South African batsman, was later downgraded to improper conduct after legal submissions. When Yorkshire won the Championship again the following year, and this time Gale could get his hands on the trophy, there was a strong sense in the county of wrongs righted.
Gale's international ambitions, never all that realistic, had waned by the time he led Yorkshire to the title, to the extent that when England's winter squads were named he was one of only three Yorkshire players overlooked, but his pride and determination, combined with a pugnacious captaincy style, represented much that was good in Yorkshire cricket. He missed out on a coveted hat-trick of titles when Yorkshire lost out to Middlesex on the final day of the season in 2016 but the respect in which he was held was underlined when he was persuaded to retire, at 32, and immediately take up the role of 1st team coach which had been vacated by Jason Gillespie's return to Australia. More than 8,000 first-class runs at 36 was a more than respectable return.
Gale, born in Dewsbury, started out in league cricket at Gomersal as an eight-year-old but it is the Bradford League club Cleckheaton he regards as his home club. He came through the age groups with England, playing at Under-15 through to Under-19 levels. He captained the Under-19 team, and was named in the England Performance Squad for their trip to South Africa in 2009-10. That December, he was named as Yorkshire captain, replacing Anthony McGrath, so becoming the youngest professional captain in the county's history.
Yorkshire adopted a policy of sticking as far as possible to home-grown talent and Gale's determined leadership had a youthful team pushing for Championship honours in 2010. In the end they fell short, finishing third - seven points behind Champions Nottinghamshire - but he finished the season with 876 runs at 46.10.
He was able to maintain his own personal standards in 2011, in spite of a struggle that ended with Yorkshire's relegation to Division Two. His season ended early because of a broken arm, but in the 12 matches before that he scored 769 runs at 40.47, including an unbeaten 145 in defeat against Nottinghamshire at Headingley and one other century.
Gale's 2012 season was disrupted by a hip injury but he struggled for runs even when fit and his return of 487 from 15 first-class matches was his lowest since he became a first-team regular in 2008, with an average of just over 30. Balanced against that was a significant triumph for his captaincy as Yorkshire won promotion to Division One in the LV= Championship and qualified for the Champions League as runners-up in the Friends Life T20, to which Gale's own contribution included a 53-ball 70 against Leicestershire at Headingley in June in a county record T20 opening stand of 116 with Phil Jaques.
Another near miss in the Championship came in 2013 when Gale's Yorkshire led for long periods only to be overhauled by Durham. He struck a career-best first-class score of 272 in a Championship draw against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough on the way to passing 1,000 runs in a season in that competition for the first time. It was his first Championship hundred for more than two years. Scarborough again sustained him in 2014 - a season in which he briefly dropped himself to enable Joe Root to return from England duty to play for the county. He stepped down as Yorkshire's captain in limited-overs formats in 2015, but his reputation remained entrenched in the Championship as he passed 1,000 runs and led Yorkshire to a second successive title.
Gale is also the co-founder the Pro Cricket coaching academy, providing coaching across the Midlands and northern England, with Chris Taylor.
Batting & Fielding