Former Yorkshire all-rounder Paul Grayson says he's delighted to be back at Headingley after being appointed as the club’s new specialist batting coach.
Grayson, who will relinquish his duties as head coach of the Yorkshire Diamonds, as well as his role as coach of Durham University’s MCCU coach, will oversee batting coaching with Yorkshire's academy, secont and first team on a full-time basis from March 1.
Seven candidates for the role were interviewed by director of cricket Martyn Moxon, first-team coach Andrew Gale, club captain Steven Patterson and Ian Dews, second-team coach and director of the academy.
Grayson, who spent five years at Headingley iun his playing days, will travel with the playing squad which departs for South Africa for warm-weather pre-season training a week after commencing his new role and said: “Obviously, I’m delighted to be back. It is a role I feel that I can fulfil really well and I’m looking forward to working with a group of talented players.
“This is the perfect role for me. I have no intention of going back into a club to become head coach, I made that pretty clear in my interview. I feel that I specialise in batting along with a bit of spin bowling as well. I just want to support the other coaches, pass on my experience and my knowledge, and also work with the players.
“I hope to play that father figure around the dressing room. Galey has been in the job for over a year now with Rich Pyrah. They are reasonably inexperienced coaches, so I hope that I can help those two.
“Galey is the main man who will make all of the big calls, but if he needs someone to talk to about certain things, I will try and help him out and along with the players as well.”
Moxon added: “The fact he’s played here before, although quite a long time ago, his affiliation with us is great and he knows what Yorkshire cricket is all about.
“He’s still got a passion for Yorkshire cricket despite all those years at Essex. That’s a bonus, that he knows the club as well as he does. Really, it’s about his ability as a coach and a manager that attracts us to him.
“With my role as Director of Cricket, a lot of the time is spent in organising and administration so the time to do hands on coaching is becoming more and more limited.
“When you look around the country now, directors of cricket are very rarely hands on with the coaching side of the club, so to get Paul in, who can focus solely on batting and working with batters from first-team through to the age-groups is really important.
“He’ll be working, in particular, with the young talent that we’ve got to hopefully bring them up to First-Class level, but also to give that reassurance to our internationals and our established first-team players. That’s a time consuming role and we need someone to fulfil that on a full-time basis.”
Gale said: "I’ve felt for a while we’ve needed a batting coach. The bowling group has been quite close and Richard Pyrah treats them as his own; I felt the batters needed that also.
“We have a good relationship with the batters in the winter but we know as soon as selection comes around it’s very hard for people to open up with the head coach. Paul has got a wealth of experience, he’s been there and got the t-shirt, he’s been in the game a long time and I wanted to bring someone in who could challenge me, as well as help me.
“Ultimately, it’s about helping the batting group to score more runs.
“It's an exciting time for our batting group. We have got some very exciting young talent like Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who has been with the England Lions, and Harry Brook, who came out of the blocks last year and started really well. It’s an important time for us and we know our batting hasn’t been what it should have the last few years, but certainly the potential and ability is there to get it right. Hopefully Paul can help make that difference.”