County news August 12, 2008

Rikki Clarke quits as Derbyshire captain

Cricinfo staff

There hasn't been much for Rikki Clarke to smile about this season © Getty Images
Rikki Clarke has stepped down as Derbyshire captain less than a season into the role after his move from Surrey. He has struggled for form this season, dropping himself at one point, and the club feels it's the best way for him to move forward.

Clarke has averaged 21 with the bat in the Championship and 38 with the ball from eight matches with just a single half-century. When he arrived over the winter, in a high-profile move with the promise of the captaincy, he spoke of being excited by the challenge of building a young group of players and even pushing for an England recall.

"The decision has been made after several discussions between Rikki and myself," said John Morris, the head of cricket. "He felt as though the role was impacting on his own personal performance and that was affecting the team.

"It is a brave decision by Rikki and he deserves respect for putting the team and the club ahead of his own personal ambitions as a captain. He hasn't played as well as he would have liked since joining us, he moved from the county he has spent his whole career during the winter and he and his partner Harriet have had their first child this summer.

"That is an awful lot to be going on for any player and Rikki felt it was best for everyone concerned if he gave up the captaincy."

Chris Rogers will take over the captaincy until the end of the season.