Yorkshire appoint Gary Ballance as new club captain
Gary Ballance has vowed to lead by example after being appointed as Yorkshire's new club captain.
England international Ballance, 27, will captain the White Rose county across all three formats of the game.
He takes the reins from Andrew Gale, who last month called time on a 12-year playing career to become the club’s new first team coach.
Ballance’s appointment also sees Alex Lees stand down as one-day captain.
Ballance said: “It is an absolute honour to be named the club captain and to follow in the footsteps of some great captains over the years. I cannot wait to get started.
“When Andrew Gale called me, it was impossible to turn down. Being captain is something that I enjoy doing and hopefully I will do a good job for Yorkshire and follow on from the good work that Galey (Andrew Gale) has done over the years.
“I’m experienced now, I have played a bit of cricket over the years, so I have seen how different captains work. I think that I am a calm person and like to think that I have a decent cricket brain.
“I’m not a massive speaker, but I will be looking to lead by example on the field and get the lads to follow me.”
Ballance signed for Yorkshire’s Academy ahead of the 2008 summer and made his First-Class debut in July of that year against Kent.
He has since gained international recognition, playing 21 Test Matches for England, scoring four Test centuries and seven half centuries.
Gale said: “I wanted to take my time when deciding who to appoint as new club captain and Gary (Ballance) is the right man to take the team forward.
“I am a firm believer in continuity and I am pleased that Gary will captain Yorkshire across all three formats.
“Gary is respected on and off the field, has a good cricket brain and knows the direction that we would like to take the team in. He has led from the front for many years with the bat and his experience speaks for itself.
“Last season, I missed a game against Nottinghamshire at Scarborough with a back injury and Gary stepped in as captain. He showed great qualities as a leader and I am excited about how he will lead the side in the future.”
Director of Cricket Martyn Moxon added: “Gary has captained a little bit in the past and has done a really good job. He has got the respect of the players and is a very popular member of the dressing room.
“Gary is a hugely experienced cricketer now having played international cricket. Tactically he is astute, so he will be very good at that side as well as managing the lads. All round, I think that it is an excellent choice.”
Moxon believes that the appointment of Ballance as captain in all forms will help Lees’ development as a batsman.
“Galey feels, and I agree, that one captain is the way to go,” Moxon said.
“It is an opportunity for Alex (Lees) to concentrate on his batting and make sure that he is the best batsman that he can be. That is important for his development and for the team if he is stacking the runs up.
“We felt that it was only right that he didn’t have any distractions with that in mind and he is very comfortable with that.”