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Page last updated at 12:06 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

Anthony McGrath steps down as Yorkshire captain

Anthony McGrath
McGrath made 825 Championship runs last season at an average of 33

Anthony McGrath has stepped down as captain of Yorkshire and will return to the ranks for the 2010 season.

The club will announce his successor on Tuesday, with Andrew Gale widely tipped to take up the job.

McGrath said: "I came to the decision that the captaincy had affected my form in the latter part of the season.

"I therefore felt that it would be in the best interests of the team if I stood down and concentrated on scoring runs again."

McGrath, 34, added: "It was a difficult decision to give up the club captaincy.

"I always said that I knew exactly what it meant to be given such a prestigious job and I was really honoured to lead the side in 2009.

"I would like to thank everyone at the club who helped me during my time as skipper, particularly Martyn Moxon and the coaching team. I would also like to thank the members and supporters for their support.

I really do think that there is an exciting future for the side and success is not too far away. I am really looking forward to playing a big part in making that success happen

Anthony McGrath

"I am right behind the decision to appoint the player who will be unveiled on Tuesday as Yorkshire's new captain.

"He will bring a lot to the role and has my full support. As a senior figure in the side in 2010 I am there if he needs any advice or support.

"The side that is taking shape at Headingley is particularly exciting.

"We have 11 players on various levels of England duty this winter and plenty of talent continues to come through our academy.

"I really do think that there is an exciting future for the side and success is not too far away. I am really looking forward to playing a big part in making that success happen."

606: DEBATE

McGrath, who made the last of his four Test appearances against South Africa in 2003, took over the captaincy at Headingley after the retirement of former England bowler Darren Gough and guided Yorkshire to survival in County Championship Division One.

Director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon said: "I know how much hard work Anthony put into the captaincy this summer and his decision to step down says a lot about him and how much he cares for this club.

"He has been a pleasure to work with as skipper and he will be an invaluable senior voice for the club's new captain to have on and off the field.

"We have a young squad in 2010 and Anthony is a very key member of the side. The side needs his runs and experience and I am sure he will provide both."



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