Andrew Gale: It's time to take stock after a draining Championship season
THINGS are still a little bit raw after what happened to us at Yorkshire in our final game of the County Championship season against Middlesex at Lord's last week, if I am being honest.
Obviously, not getting over the line in the final game of the season was disappointing and there were not many celebrations down in London, I can tell you.
It was just not to be, but we gave it everything that we could.
But if we are being totally honest, we did not play the cricket to deserve to win the County Championship.
But having said that, when you come so close as that, you feel you still deserve to get over the line.
Personally, I am taking stock of my position as captain at Yorkshire and I will see where I am at in a month’s time.
At the moment, if I am being honest, I am pretty drained. I will just see how I feel in a month.
It has been a tough year for me personally in not scoring the runs that I would have liked. I pride myself on leading from the front as captain and to not do that has taken its toll.
But you don’t become a bad player overnight and I am sure I can bounce back from this.
Batting wise, it was one of the toughest years I have ever had in my years in the game, definitely.
I was fighting quite a few battles in early season and not playing one-day cricket had an effect as well. It just wasn’t meant to be this season.
Obviously, Jason Gillespie has now left Yorkshire after his time as coach. Outside of international cricket, I think that Yorkshire is probably the biggest job you can get.
Dizzy’s record has been fantastic and we will miss him. But it is a big opportunity for a new coach to come in and rebuild and bring some more silverware to the club.
Looking at things over the course of the last season, I felt little things cost us in terms of not being able to make it three titles in a row.
The top-order didn’t fire at times throughout the year and there were times when we were not ruthless enough with the ball as well.
We also had injuries at the start of the year and there were opportunities to win games at the start of the season which we didn’t do – those were the sort of chances which we took in previous years.
At the end of the day, Middlesex were worthy winners. But to get so close was disappointing.
Looking at the season as a whole across all formats, I guess we were the ‘nearly team’ – in getting to the semi-finals in the one-day competitions and almost like a final in the County Championship.
Not to come away with silverware is tough. In previous years, we have nearly finished bottom in the one-day stuff, but won a trophy and you would probably rather have it that way and win something than get so close.
In terms of individuals, I felt that Tim Bresnan deserves a mention for having a fantastic year. Since coming back from injury, he has been outstanding, with bat and ball.
I thought Adam Lyth also freed the squad up in the shorter form and with the few hundreds he got in a row, you could see a massive difference in that way that the team played.
Jack Brooks, with 60-odd wickets again, put in an amazing effort for the third year running too and I think Azeem Rafiq deserves a mention as well.
It is not easy to come back into a team and Azeem has had a good year.
It might be the off-season now, but I was busy in a 65-mile charity bike ride as part of my benefit year on Thursday.
I am not much of a golfer and one golf day was enough for me and I much preferred to get on the bike, although getting the lads at Yorkshire to do a bike ride at the end of the season was challenging!
Bres volunteered and he was on it and all in all, there were about one hundred people doing it.
My three charities are the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation, PCA Benevolent Fund and Yorkshire Children’s Trust, based in Halifax.