County news July 31, 2012

Yardy steps down at Sussex

ESPNcricinfo staff

Michael Yardy, the Sussex allrounder, has stepped down as the county's captain in four-day and 40-over cricket, although he will continue to lead the T20 side for their appearance at FLt20 Finals Day at the end of August. Ireland batsman Ed Joyce has been named as Yardy's successor and will take on the captaincy for the Championship match against Worcestershire, starting on Wednesday.

Yardy, 31, who has won 42 caps in limited-overs cricket for England, has relinquished the role in order to focus on his game. He succeeded Chris Adams in 2009, with Sussex winning both the Pro40 and Twenty20 Cup in Yardy's first season as captain, despite being relegated in the Championship. He also led them to the Division Two title the following season.

He has been an ever-present for Sussex in the Championship this year, scoring 367 runs at 24.46. In T20 cricket, he has scored just 17 runs to go with seven wickets, with Sussex losing just once on their to way a scheduled semi-final against Yorkshire.

A key part of England's successful 2010 World Twenty20 squad, Yardy was forced home from the 2011 World Cup after suffering with depression - a problem he has spoken about openly in the past. His last international appearance came during the group stage win over South Africa at the tournament.

"I have decided to step down as captain in order to concentrate on my own game," Yardy said. "There are many things I still wish to achieve as a player which will also hopefully help contribute to the team winning more silverware. I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone for all the effort they have put in over my time as captain and I look forward to leading the team at t20 Finals Day."

Mark Robinson, Sussex's Professional Cricket Manager, added: "Michael has been an incredibly dedicated captain who has worked tirelessly and selflessly for the good of the club. I know he is still incredibly ambitious both for the Club and himself and we wish him all the best in fulfilling those goals. Ed Joyce will now take over the captaincy duties until the end of the season."