County news April 18, 2012

Dexter stands down as Middlesex captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

Middlesex have announced that Neil Dexter will temporarily step down as captain of the Championship side to concentrate on regaining form with the bat. He will be replaced by Chris Rogers, though Dexter will continue to lead Middlesex in one-day cricket and the situation will be "kept under regular review", the club have said.

Middlesex have won one and lost one after their first two games back in Division One of the Championship. Dexter, who led the team to promotion from Division Two last season, has scored 15 runs in four innings, though he did take three wickets as his side secured a dramatic victory over London rivals Surrey in their second match.

It is understood that South Africa-born Dexter did not have much opportunity for pre-season net practice after the death of his brother around Christmas time led to an extended return home, and has asked for his responsibilities to be reduced in the short term.

Angus Fraser, Middlesex's director of cricket, said: "Once again I applaud Neil for his selfless and honest behaviour. I selected Neil as Middlesex CCC captain in 2010 because of the standards and values he holds, and he never lets you down. Neil's captaincy during the thrilling three-run victory over Surrey was outstanding. It played a major role in turning potential sorrow in to delight.

"He is, however, not happy with his current form with the bat and believes extra time spent concentrating on this part of his game will help return him to his best quickest, which is what we all want. Once Neil's form returns, as it inevitably will, and he is happy with where he is at the captaincy will return to him."

A batting allrounder who has also played for Kent and Essex, Dexter was appointed Middlesex's captain after the resignation of Shaun Udal in June 2010. He scored 907 Championship runs at 47.73 that season, but in 2011 he managed just 470 at 26.11 as Middlesex secured the Division Two title.

Middlesex's next Championship fixture, against Durham at Lord's, is due to start tomorrow, with Dexter expected to retain his place in the middle order. Rogers, who played one Test for Australia in 2008, was previously captain at Derbyshire before moving to Middlesex as their overseas player for the start of the 2011 season.

Edited by Alan Gardner