CRICKET: Andrew Gale tips Alex Lees as a future Yorkshire captain ahead of their return to Nottinghamshire’s Trent Bridge

Andrew Gale eventually got his hands on the County Championship trophy - after being banned from the original presentation
Andrew Gale eventually got his hands on the County Championship trophy - after being banned from the original presentation

Andrew Gale has tipped Alex Lees as a future Yorkshire captain, as the current skipper prepares to make his return from suspension against Nottinghamshire on Sunday.

Gale will return to the Tykes side at Trent Bridge after a two-game ban for a high-profile incident involving Ashwell Prince last season.

In his absence, Lees captained the county champions to a stunning ten-wicket win over Worcestershire in their opening Championship game and Gale said: “Alex did a great job.

“The guy has only just turned 22, but to stand up like he did and score runs in the game and lead from the front just shows his qualities.

“Going forward, he will be a great leader of this side one day.”

The Worcestershire win was even more impressive considering Yorkshire have six players away on England duty in the Caribbean: “It has to go down as one of Yorkshire’s best victories in recent times,” added Gale.

“When you look at the circumstances that we were under, with six players missing with England, myself out through suspension and losing Ryan Sidebottom with an injury in the second innings, it was an incredible effort to win the game in three days.

“Any other team in the country, with such a depleted resource, would have struggled to compete. We have real strength in depth and have this ability of players coming in and doing a job. It was a fantastic effort from everyone involved.

“There is a lot of confidence in the group and the players are comfortable in their surroundings. Everyone is working hard to be successful and above all else looking to win matches.

“The senior players stood up and showed their real qualities. The likes of Tim Bresnan, Steve Patterson and Jack Brooks were brilliant and I was pleased for Alex Lees, who captained the side well.”

Yorkshire's Alex Lees

Yorkshire's Alex Lees

Yorkshire have good memories of Trent Bridge, having won the County Championship title there last year with victory over Notts.

But the day was bittersweet for Gale, who was prevented from joining in the post-match celebrations - leaving stand-in captain Joe Root to lift the trophy.

“It hasn’t been discussed amongst the group,” Gale said.

“I’m sure when we arrive at the ground on Sunday we will reminisce a little but that will be put to one side as we focus on the next game.

“For me, they’ll be some mixed emotions going back.

“I don’t want to dwell on that. It is a new start for me and I just want to look forward.

“I’m very excited to be back on the park captaining the team. It has been a difficult period, but now I can put the suspension to one side and concentrate on winning cricket matches for Yorkshire.”

Young Matthew Fisher, aged just 17, could make his Championship debut. He made his one-day bow for the Yorkshire side in 2013, aged just 15!