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Gale-force flak for Yorkshire skipper
It's tough being an Englishman in Australia at the moment. Yorkshire skipper Andrew Gale can vouch for that!
Although a nightmare Ashes campaign has nothing to do with the left-handed batsman, that has not stopped the locals getting stuck into him during his stay with Melbourne grade club Dandenong this winter.
Sledging is a hot topic at present, with flak flying regularly between the Test players of England and Australia.
Gale, however, admits he is copping it big time everywhere else but in the middle.
"It doesn't matter who I speak to, whether it's the woman in the coffee shop, someone in the gym or a team-mate, I seem to be getting sledged about the Ashes," admitted the 30-year-old.
"To be fair, there hasn't been much of it going on out on the field. I suspect quite a lot of the teams who I'm playing against know what I've done in England and that I'm not a young lad coming across.
"I've played against quite a few guys already. In my first game I played against Dimi Mascarenhas and David Hussey, so they didn't sledge me."
Gale has travelled Down Under for a number of reasons - to find form and fitness ahead of the 2014 county campaign, to develop a coaching career he sees progressing beyond his playing days and to relax with his wife and young daughter away from the chilly temperatures of home.
"It's been good so far," he continued, having got a handful of starts in his six first grade innings without posting a big score. "The cricket's been really good. The pitches have been a bit indifferent, which has been quite surprising. Maybe that's just because of the weather being a bit wet.
"After Christmas I want to be back in form. That's my main priority. I've been working on a few specifics with my game, and they've been going quite well.
"If I can up the ante with some big scores before I come back ahead of the latter stages of our pre-season, that's the main reason why I came here."
Gale is also involved with coaching the youngsters of Dandenong, a side of the game he has always been interested in.
He is heavily involved in coaching local youngsters at home, has reached level three of four with his coaching badges and has the ultimate aim of working his way up the county ladder once he hangs up his bat and gloves.
He has also recently developed the ICrick application for Itunes customers with Tim Bresnan.
"Basically it's a cricket coaching app with tutorials featuring Adam Lyth doing the batting and fielding, Andrew Hodd doing the wicketkeeping, Mark Lawson doing the spin bowling and Brezzy the fast bowling. The voiceover is done by Bumble," he added.
"Coaching is something I'm passionate about. It was one of the reasons why I came away to Australia, to get some more experience.
"At the club, I've been doing quite a lot of one-to-one stuff with some of the younger players in the team. To experience how other people go about things has also been good for me.
"I know how Yorkshire do things, but I want to see how different people, teams and countries go about things."