West Indian Ottis Gibson appointed new Yorkshire Head Coach

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Yorkshire have appointed former West Indies all-rounder Ottis Gibson as their new head coach on a three-year deal.

Gibson, 52, will take charge at the end of February and replaces Andrew Gale, who was sacked during the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal.

The former West Indies and South Africa head coach will report to interim managing director Darren Gough.

“I’m extremely honoured and excited to be given the opportunity,” said Gibson.

The ex-England and Bangladesh bowling coach added: “This is one of the most prestigious roles in English county cricket, and I am really looking forward to working with this talented group of players to take the club forward.

“I’ve spoken at length with Goughy about the direction the club is heading in and I’m excited to be a part of that future.”

Gibson will have overall responsibility for the performance and management of the first team and will be supported by two assistant coaches who will be appointed shortly.

The former Durham, Glamorgan and Leicestershire player will join Yorkshire once his contract with the Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League finishes next month.

Gough, who became interim managing director in December, said: “Ottis becoming head coach is an important moment for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, and we are very happy he has become part of the team.

“Ottis is one of the best coaches in the world and will be a fantastic addition. His knowledge, commitment, experience and cricket knowhow will be vital for us as we move into pre-season and get ourselves up and running.

“We were absolutely blown away by the level of interest and quality of candidates for this role, but I have no doubt he’s the best person for the job and will pick up the challenge with relish.”

Flashback! Ottis Gibson, Bowling Coach of Bangladesh interacts with Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali and Jos Buttler of England ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup match between England and Bangladesh at Sheikh Zayed stadium on October 27, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Gareth Copley-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Lord Patel, chair of Yorkshire, added: “Ottis’ playing and coaching credentials speak for themselves and he has had a distinguished career performing at the highest level.

“His character and his commitment to buying into the process that we are going through at Yorkshire County Cricket Club shone through in our discussions.

“He is someone I know will encourage dialogue and help foster a culture of inclusion at the club, as well as supporting and developing the world-class talent we have here and pushing them to the next level.”

Gibson played two Test matches and 15 one-day internationals during a 17-year playing career, and was in charge of the West Indies team that won the 2012 T20 World Cup.

He took 1,024 wickets and scored 8,552 runs during his career.

Gale and director of cricket Martyn Moxon were among 16 people to leave Yorkshire amid the racism scandal.

A report found former player Rafiq, who played for Yorkshire between 2008 and 2018, was a victim of “racial harassment and bullying”.

Rafiq was born in Pakistan and moved to England aged 10, and he captained England teams at youth level and also led Yorkshire in 2012.

However, in September 2020, following an initial interview with Wisden, Rafiq told ESPN Cricinfo “institutional racism” encountered while at the club left him close to taking his own life.

He told BBC Sport he dreaded “every second” of his career and a team-mate used a racially offensive term linked to his Pakistani heritage.

Last week Rafiq said Yorkshire had taken “a step in the right direction” and their suspension from hosting England games should be lifted.

Meanwhile, Yorkshire has proposed amending its rules to remove the requirement that written approval from the Trustees of the Graves Trusts was required in order to appoint or remove board members.

Lord Patel said the change would “remove any misunderstanding of the role of the Trusts”.

“Lending from the Graves Trusts is incredibly important financially for Yorkshire, but Trustees are not involved in how we run the club,” he added.

“Since I became Chair, we have had very constructive discussions with the Trustees, who are fully supportive of the steps we are taking to rebuild the club and invested in our success, but it is clear to me that they hold no influence on the decisions of the Board as this is a commercial agreement.” (BBC Sport)

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