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Yorkshire skipper Gale remembers his debt to Cleckheaton
Andrew Gale says he owes a lot to Cleckheaton for helping to develop his cricketing career ahead of Yorkshire’s visit to Moorend for Wednesday's Twenty20 match.
But the White Rose skipper also admits that the county will not be taking the clash lightly as they warm up for the start of the Friends Life t20 on Friday.
Gale, who moved from Gomersal as a 13-year-old left-handed batsman looking for more playing time, has stressed that building momentum is the key to Twenty20 - no matter who the opponents are.
“Gomersal was my first club, but my uncle and my two cousins were playing at Cleckheaton,” said the 28- year-old.
“I wasn’t getting an opportunity at Gomersal, so I went there and started playing second-team cricket at 13 years old.
“I did quite well, and was playing in the first team, batting at six and seven, the year after.
“Halfway through the season, Chris Pickles, who played at Yorkshire, fell out of form and told me to go and open the batting. At 15 and 16, I was opening the batting in the Bradford League, which was great.
“I owe a lot to them and Chris for giving me that opportunity. It’s a good club run by good people. They always like to give their own a chance, which is what it’s all about.”
Yorkshire, who are expected to field a full-strength team for the fixture, have been perennial underachievers in Twenty20, having only reached the last eight twice and never having made it to Finals Day.
Their recent signing of batsman David Miller as a second overseas alongside Mitchell Starc is a signal of intent, and the South African could make his debut on Wednesday.
"We’ll be playing it as a proper game because we haven’t had a great build-up to Twenty20 over the last few years,” added Gale.
“It doesn’t matter who you play against in Twenty20, it’s a game of momentum. If you get into some good form by winning a few matches, you turn up to the ground and you don’t feel like you’re going to lose a match.
“I’m hoping this week will provide us with an opportunity to get into that form.”
With the backing of Baildon and Cleckheaton-based international freight forwarders Thompson, Davis & Co. Ltd, Cleckheaton are making a £2,000 donation to the Yorkshire Academy to host the match.
Tickets will be on sale on the day.