THE job of Yorkshire first team coach is believed to be Paul Farbrace’s to turn down after the England assistant coach emerged as the hot favourite to replace Jason Gillespie.
The Yorkshire Post understands that Farbrace is top of the club’s wish-list as Yorkshire step up their search to replace Gillespie, who stands on the brink of leading the club to a hat-trick of County Championships.
Yorkshire are staying tight-lipped as to who they want to replace the Australian, who is returning home at the end of the season to be with his family.
But it is thought that they would jump at the chance to welcome Farbrace back to Headingley, where he previously served as second team coach.
Farbrace said over the weekend that it was “flattering to be linked with a club like Yorkshire”, and that “it is a very attractive job for whoever ends up getting it”.
At the same time, it is by no means cut-and-dried that he will toss his hat into the ring, with Farbrace enjoying his role with England and a possible contender to take over from head coach Trevor Bayliss in time.
It is a difficult decision for the 49-year-old, and Yorkshire may be forced to look elsewhere.
The club hope to make an appointment shortly, but the pursuit of the treble is their first priority.
Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s director of cricket, declined to comment on potential candidates.
However, he did elaborate on the type of character that Yorkshire want.
“What I’m looking for is someone who can carry on the work that we’ve done over the last five years, maintain the environment that we’ve created, and ultimately oversee the transition that will have to take place as the senior players get older,” he said.
“We need someone who is capable of maintaining what we’ve got, but also overseeing the natural transition that will have to take place over the medium term.
“We don’t want to be successful for a few years and then fall off the edge of a cliff, and then it be another 20 years before we start winning again.
“We’ve got an international bowling attack at the minute, which is hard to replace in one fell swoop, and we have to plan and make sure that it isn’t a case of them all finishing at the same time and then saying, ‘Right, what do we do now?’”
Ideally, Moxon would like another Gillespie, who has done a magnificent job in his five years at Leeds.
However, he insisted that it does not have to be a Gillespie clone.
“Not necessarily,” he added. “It needs to be someone with a track record of working with and developing young players, which is the key to success going forward.
“We’re going to have to develop the likes of Matthew Waite, Matthew Fisher, Karl Carver, Harry Brook, Will Rhodes, Jack Leaning, and so on. We need someone who can help turn potential into end results.”
Moxon describes Yorkshire’s challenge as to “win now and develop for the future”, something that they have got off to a fine art.
The club go into today’s Championship game against Durham at Headingley four points behind leaders Middlesex with three matches left, strongly placed to push for the hat-trick.
However, they will have to get over the line without Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow, neither of whom have been made available by England for the rest of the season.
A decision on the availability of Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett and David Willey will be made after tomorrow’s T20 international against Pakistan.
“Joe and Jonny have played a lot of cricket this summer,” said Moxon.
“It’s high-intensity, and England are due to go on tour again on September 29.”
Reflecting on the title race, Moxon said: “It continues to be nip-and-tuck, and there’s everything to play for.
“We can only focus on our next game, and we know that Durham are not an easy team to beat.
“They’ve got things to fight for as well, and it’s going to be a tough battle as it always is. Ultimately, it’s how we play, and if we play to our capabilities, then it’s well within our power to beat them.”
Increasingly, it looks as though the last game of the season, against Middlesex at Lord’s, will decide the title.
After this week’s match, Yorkshire take on Somerset at Headingley from next Monday, while Middlesex travel to Notts this week and then visit Lancashire before hosting Yorkshire from September 20.
“Middlesex have got a tough trip potentially to Trent Bridge, where it’s all or nothing probably for Notts in respect of staying in the league,” said Moxon.
“Notts need to put in a performance, and it’s not easy for anyone at this stage of the season.
“As for our last match at Lord’s, we’re not even thinking about that at the minute.
“We need to make sure that it’s relevant, first and foremost, by performing well in the next two games.”