Maher welcomes captaincy
The prospect of following in the footsteps of Queensland's most successful captain was welcomed today by his heir, XXXX Queensland Bulls opening batsman Jimmy Maher.
Maher, 28, was today named to take over from Stuart Law as the Bulls captain for the 2002-2003 cricket season.
Maher, who tasted the captaincy for the first time last season when he led the Bulls in one Pura Cup and four ING Cup games, said he was not perturbed at the prospect of replacing Law, the man in charge of all five of Queensland's first class championship titles.
"It's a daunting task to follow but we've got a great squad, with a great set-up and system, and hopefully we can continue to do well with everything we throw our hand at," he told a media conference today in the Captains' Room at Queensland Cricket Headquarters.
"It's a huge honour to be invited to captain Queensland and one that I am delighted to accept," he said.
"We've enjoyed plenty of success over the past decade thanks to a lot of hard work by a lot of people and I'm keen to carry that on. We've got a new coach in Terry Oliver, some great young players coming through and so I'm confident there is plenty for us to look forward to," he said.
Maher was recommended as Law's replacement by the Queensland selection panel of chairman Andrew Courtice, Dirk Tazelaar and Paul Jackson, ahead of other well-credentialed candidates such as Matthew Hayden, Martin Love, Andrew Symonds and Wade Seccombe.
Maher said it was reassuring that Law would continue his playing career with the Bulls following his decision to stand down as captain after guiding Queensland to their third Pura Cup title.
"It will be fantastic. I know Allan Border helped Stuey in the first couple of years after Lawy came on board (as captain) and I'll be using his experience and wisdom as much as possible," he said.
"It's not going to be a Jimmy Maher-run show. I'm the sort of person that will listen to a lot of people's ideas, whether they've played one game or a hundred games."
The conferral of the captaincy on Maher continues a bumper year for the North Queensland product, who is awaiting the birth of his first child with wife Deb next month.
Maher was the joint Pura Cup player of the year with Victoria's Brad Hodge last season, won the Ian Healy Trophy as the Bulls' player of the year, produced his second 1000-plus run season for the Bulls in a row and made his return to the Australian one-day team for the tour of South Africa where he won man of the match awards in his first two matches.
Maher was recently awarded an ACB players' contract for 2002-2003 and was named in the Australian squad for next month's TOWER Super Challenge II one-day internationals against Pakistan at Melbourne's Colonial Stadium and the Gabba on June 19.