Tykes consider Gale after McGrath quits

Anthony McGrath has resigned as captain of Yorkshire and is expected to be replaced today by either Andrew Gale or Jacques Rudolph, McGrath's understudy last season.

The former England player surprised the county by standing down yesterday after just one summer at the helm, although it was his second spell in charge at Headingley.

McGrath, 34, was appointed in succession to Darren Gough and oversaw an ultimately successful battle against relegation from the First Division of the County Championship. But the twin demands of captaincy and run-scoring in a tense closing few weeks of the campaign prompted his resignation. "I came to the decision that the captaincy had affected my form in the latter part of the season," McGrath said. "I felt it would be in the best interests of the team if I stood down and concentrated on scoring runs again."

Gale, 26, is a middle-order batsman who averaged only three more than McGrath last season. Rudolph, while a prolific run scorer, is a Kolpak player whose appointment would not be universally welcomed within the county.

Australia have recalled opener Phillip Hughes to their 13-strong squad for the first Test against Pakistan, which begins in Melbourne on Boxing Day. Hughes has not played a Test since being dropped during the Ashes, but he will only feature in the final XI if the captain Ricky Ponting fails to recover from an elbow injury he suffered against West Indies.

India yesterday beat Sri Lanka by seven wickets to take a 2-1 lead in their five-match one-day series.

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