Yorkshire hire Steve Harmison and Ryan Sidebottom to coach on an interim basis

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Yorkshire hire Steve Harmison and Ryan Sidebottom as interim coaches as new chief Darren Gough ropes in former England team-mates with crisis-hit county club looking to move on from Azeem Rafiq racism scandal

  • Yorkshire have hired Ryan Sidebottom and Steve Harmison on an interim basis
  • The county cricket club are in crisis following the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal 
  • Darren Gough is the new managing director and has made the appointments 
  • Yorkshire’s entire coaching staff were sacked in the wake of Rafiq’s allegations


Former England bowlers Steve Harmison and Ryan Sidebottom have been hired by crisis-hit Yorkshire as interim coaches.

Sportsmail understands new director of cricket Darren Gough has asked his former team-mates to help out at pre-season training after the county’s entire coaching staff were sacked last month in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq racism scandal.

Harmison and Sidebottom will share part-time duties with former England assistant Tim Boon, ex-Durham and Sussex wicketkeeper-batsman Martin Speight and fielding specialist Cookie Patel.

The interim coaches will fill the void at Headingley while Gough recruits a new permanent backroom team. 

Former England star Steve Harmison (second left) will coach Yorkshire CCC on an interim basis

Former England star Steve Harmison (second left) will coach Yorkshire CCC on an interim basis

Ryan Sidebottom will work with Yorkshire on an interim basis

Ryan Sidebottom (right) will work alongside Harmison as a temporary coach, helping to fill a huge gap after Yorkshire’s entire coaching staff was sacked last year

Darren Gough, the club's new managing director, has made the appointments

Darren Gough, the club’s new managing director, has made the appointments

Interviews for the vacant head coach and assistant coach jobs are set to begin next week, with ex-England bowling coach Ottis Gibson – currently working for Bangladesh – a leading contender.

Ashes hero Harmison is close with Gough having played with him for England and worked with him at talkSPORT, telling the radio station last month he would ‘do anything for him if he ever needed a hand’.

This is the 43-year-old’s first role with a county since he retired from playing in 2013, after which he spent more than two years as a football manager at non-league Ashington.

Harmison, who donned the whites with Yorkshire for a month on loan from Durham in 2012, has most recently been a pundit for BT Sport during their coverage of the Ashes.

T20 World Cup winner Sidebottom, 43, played for Yorkshire for 12 years over two spells, winning three County Championship titles with the club. He retired in 2017 and then had a year as a bowling coach with Surrey. 

The crisis-hit county cricket club are looking to move on in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq case

The crisis-hit county cricket club are looking to move on in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq case

Rafiq's shocking claims that racism was rife within Yorkshire CCC rocked the sport to the core

Rafiq’s shocking claims that racism was rife within Yorkshire CCC rocked the sport to the core

Yorkshire-born Boon was part of Duncan Fletcher’s staff when England won the 2005 Ashes and also coached Leicestershire. He is now an ECB cricket liaison officer and match referee.

Fielding coach Patel is also an ECB employee, while Speight is director of cricket at Sedbergh School, where he has nurtured some of Yorkshire’s young players, including England Lions batsman Harry Brook.

Yorkshire are without any full-time coaching or medical staff after 16 employees were let go last month.

Andrew Gale was dismissed as head coach after former player Rafiq accused him of racism and bullying during his time at the club.

Batting coach Paul Grayson and Richard Pyrah, the bowling coach, also lost their jobs, as did long-serving director of cricket Martyn Moxon, who Gough has replaced on an interim basis.

Yorkshire’s first team returned to pre-season training at Headingley on Monday following the Christmas break, ahead of a scheduled trip to Pakistan for a friendly with Lahore Qalandars on January 16.

The county’s players were restricted to fitness sessions last month having been unable to do any net practice in the absence of any suitable staff. 

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