FORMER Yorkshire CCC all-rounder Richard Pyrah has signed for Hartshead Moor CC ahead of flying off to Australia straight after Christmas.
The 33-year-old Dewsbury-born player-turned-coach with the Tykes has been brought to the club by go-ahead chairman Matthew Evans, a close friend of Yorkshire CCC’s Championship-winning captain Andrew Gale, who lives in the hilltop village above Brighouse near his brother-in-law and Yorkshire team-mate Tim Bresnan.
This move by Pyrah, so soon after retiring from the white ball game and joining Jason Gillespie’s coaching staff, will send reverberations around the JCT600 Bradford Cricket League.
Pyrah before joining his new Highmoor Lane colleagues for any winter nets will be enjoying some Australian sunshine as he joins Gillespie and former teammate Adil Rashid at Adelaide Strikers for the Big Bash League.
He will not be playing, although after 51 first-class Championship matches, the limited overs game became his forte. He is going on a learning curve as he works towards his ECB Level 4 coaching badge over the next two years already having got his Level 3.
In 40 and 50 overs cricket he has played in 118 games for Yorkshire and in the T20 game has made 105 appearances, while carving out a lot of runs and consistently taking wickets with his right-arm medium pace, while also being one of the best cover fielders in the modern game.
Pyrah, who is married to Lucie and has two daughters, Tilly and Millie, has just enjoyed a successful testimonial season and is very highly thought of at Headingley.
Obviously his commitments to his employers Yorkshire come first but he has told his new chairman that he will be playing for the Division Two club as much as he can in an attempt to lift them away from a mid-table position and to challenge for honours.
Former player Evans will also be looking for another overseas professional having lost his star batsman over the past two seasons, Faha Ul-haq.
The Lahore-based early order big hitter of the ball is moving on after winning the 2015 Bradford Cricket League Division Two averages.
The club have also said their goodbyes to all-rounder Andrew Parratt, the former Windhill and Idle player. He has moved to Thackley, members of the Airedale and Wharfedale League.
Club treasurer Eric Grieve confirmed that long serving all-rounder Daniel Squire, son of committee member Peter, will be the first-team captain next term and it will see the chairman’s younger brother Liam move to opening the batting for the 2nd X1.
Andrew Croft will continue to skipper that side which will be like a development squad bringing in talent from the very successful junior and youth set-up currently at the club.
Hartshead Moor run teams from Under-9 through to Under-17 and the fledgling players receive excellent coaching on a weekly basis.