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Page last updated at 16:43 GMT, Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale targets big year

Andrew Gale
Gale has 3290 first class runs to his name

Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale hopes 2011 can be the year he wins his first full England cap.

The 27-year-old batsman is currently training with the England Lions ahead of their tour to the West Indies at the end of the month.

"People always say this is the big year for me, but I think this one really is," Gale told BBC Radio Leeds.

"There will be opportunities coming up with England. I have to make sure I'm knocking on the door when they come."

Gale enjoyed a great first season as Yorkshire skipper in 2010 as both he and the county enjoyed success.

After a slow start to the season Gale starred with the bat, especially in the Friends Provident t20, and he helped inspire Yorkshire to a third placed finish in the County Championship.

He is now hoping that both the club and himself can build on that success.

"There is a great feeling around English cricket at the moment and I want to continue to be a part of that," he said.

"So I have to stack the runs up for Yorkshire and make a real big push to knock on that door when someone either drops out of form or gets injured.

"From a Yorkshire point of view, we had a great season last year and it was a hard pill to swallow that on the last day of the season we fell at the last hurdle.

"We have addressed areas we need to improve on and I'm sure when the first game again Worcester comes along we'll be on the ball."

Despite his return from Australia, Gale, who has been raising funds for the Queensland flood relief appeal by auctioning off his kit via an online auction, has continued to keep a close eye on the cricket still being played.

He is particularly keen to see Yorkshire team-mates Tim Bresnan and Ajmal Shahzad continue to develop in Andy Flower's side.

"The two Yorkshire boys did tremendously well," he said. "Tim Bresnan did well in the Ashes and has carried that on.

"I'm glad to see Ajmal is now being give a chance. It's probably been a long tour for him because he has had to wait in the wings and seeing everyone else be so successful.

"I know he'll have been training hard and I think he grabbed his opportunity with both hands and I hope he will get a decent run in the side now.

"He'll have been disappointed not to play any part in the Ashes and it can be difficult to stay focused on your job when you are not sure if and when you'll play."

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