Yorkshire return for former skipper McGrath

The Northern Echo: BACK HOME: Anthony McGrath BACK HOME: Anthony McGrath

Former captain Anthony McGrath is returning to Yorkshire in a mentoring role to work with the current squad and help prepare players for the remainder of their working life following retirement.

Yorkshire have turned to the 38-year-old Bradford-born all-rounder, who announced his retirement last February, to act as a consultant for both cricket and advising players on their next step as they come to the end of their careers.

It is a new role created specifically for McGrath, who will use his vast experience as a player in scoring 14,698 First Class runs during a career that included four Tests and 14 one-day internationals for England.

"In the first six months I have been with Yorkshire, it is obvious what great respect people have for Anthony as a person and as a coach," revealed Mark Arthur, Yorkshire's chief executive. "We are fortunate to be able to tap into his range of abilities, which will undoubtedly help us thrive."

His appointment, on a part-time consultancy basis, is also part of drive by Yorkshire to utilise the experience of their former players - an area they have been criticised for not using more 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."

McGrath was called in on several occasions last summer to help with team preparation and he will continue in that mentoring role, attempting to pass on his experience to Yorkshire's vast array of academy talent.

"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. "I will be looking at the mental side of the game, looking at confidence, how to build an innings, dealing with different bowlers and that type of thing.

"I won't be there all the time, but sometimes it's good to come in and give the players a different voice for them to listen to. When you're a player you try to help out but you're also worried about your own form and keeping your place, but this is totally different - this way you can completely focus on the players you're working with."

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