ANDREW GALE said he will consider his position as captain after Yorkshire failed in their attempt to win a hat-trick of Championships.
Gale said he will take stock in the coming weeks after Yorkshire’s title dream evaporated at Lord’s.
In a thrilling climax to the Championship season, Yorkshire lost by 61 runs to Middlesex, who clinched their first title since 1993.
If Yorkshire had chased 240 in 40 overs, they would have become the first club to do the hat-trick since they achieved it in 1968, but they were bowled out for 178 with 28 balls left, pace bowler Toby Roland-Jones remarkably rounding things off with a hat-trick.
Yorkshire finished third, 15 points behind Somerset, whose players and supporters had gathered at Taunton in the hope that the game at Lord’s would end in a draw. If it had, Somerset would have been crowned champions for the first time.
As it was, Middlesex pipped them by four points, leaving Somerset and Yorkshire to reflect on what might have been, and Gale to reflect on his own situation.
Asked if he wants to continue as captain, Gale, who has led Yorkshire since 2009, said: “I don’t know.
“I’ll take stock over the next couple of months and see how I feel.
“I’m pretty emotional at the minute at not getting over the line, but I’ll see what happens.
“I haven’t had a fantastic year with the bat; I’ve had a very disappointing year, a poor year, so I’ll have to think what’s happening going forward.
“I still want to play. I’ll take a few weeks off and take it from there.”
Yorkshire’s defeat was a sad way for first-team coach Jason Gillespie to bow out after five years in charge.
Under Gillespie, Gale, and Martyn Moxon, the club’s director of cricket, Yorkshire cricket has been reborn, with the club achieving four successive top-three finishes.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Yorkshire,” said Gillespie, who presided over just seven defeats in 80 Championship games.
“It’s a wonderful club with great people, and I’m going to miss everyone, there’s no doubt about it.
“But all good things come to an end, and I wish whoever takes on the role all the success in the world.
“If they have half as much fun as I’ve had, they’ll have a great time, because it’s been an honour and a privilege to be Yorkshire coach.”
Gale, Gillespie and Moxon were generous in their praise for Middlesex after a game that showcased all that is good about county cricket.
Yorkshire pushed them to the last, with all-rounder Tim Bresnan following his first innings hundred with a fighting half-century, in a title race that could easily have gone a different way.
“I feel Middlesex are worthy winners,” said Gale.
“They’ve probably played the best cricket throughout the season, the most consistent, and we found ourselves up against it at times.
“We had the usual international call-ups and also a number of injuries, and we only had two fit seamers at one point.
“To stay in the hunt while playing at 60-70 per cent of our potential is a fantastic effort.”
Gillespie commented: “Well played to Middlesex. They’ve played really good cricket all summer, and they’ve been very deserving champions.
“We just couldn’t quite get over the line, and I’m just disappointed for the lads because they’ve worked so hard.
“We’re bitterly disappointed, but my overriding emotion is pride in the lads.”
Moxon echoed Gillespie’s sentiments.
“The players have dug really deep, and I think that everyone in Yorkshire should be proud of them,” he said.
“We tried our best to win the title again, but I think it’s fair to say that Middlesex deserved it this year.
“They’ve played some excellent cricket and are a very strong all-round team, and fair play to them and congratulations.
“At the end of the day, I always believe, whatever the sport is, that whoever finishes top deserves to finish top.”
Whatever Gale’s thoughts concerning the captaincy, he insists that Yorkshire will come back strong in 2017.
“The lads are hungry,” he said. “Everyone can see that.
“There’s only Ryan Sidebottom who’s probably bordering on retirement age, so there’s no reason why we can’t keep competing.”
Final-day report, pictures and more reaction: Page 9.