County news June 11, 2010

Shaun Udal resigns as Middlesex captain

Cricinfo staff

Shaun Udal has stood down from the Middlesex captaincy following his team's poor start to the season and will be replaced by Adam Gilchrist for the next six games, after Gilchrist requested to extend the terms of his contract and play in Middlesex's away games.

Udal, 41, had taken over the captaincy in September 2008 but struggled last year, with Middlesex finishing second from bottom in the second division of the County Championship. Things have not improved this year with Middlesex winning just two out of nine games in the Championship and struggling in the Clydesdale Bank 40.

It's understood that Gilchrist, who was only due to play in home games for Middlesex, asked Angus Fraser, managing director of cricket at Middlesex, to play in more fixtures, which encouraged the club to hand him the captaincy while he was with the side. Neil Dexter will take over the captaincy after Gilchrist leaves, with his first game in charge being the Friends Provident t20 match away against Glamorgan on June 26.

"Captaining Middlesex has been a huge honour for me," said Udal. "There can be few better feelings than leading a team out at Lord's and I have taken great pride in doing that over the course of the past three seasons.

"Letting go of something like that is extremely difficult but Angus Fraser and I have agreed that this is the best way forward for the club. I would like to continue playing for Middlesex and will give my full support to both Adam Gilchrist and Neil Dexter."

Udal had retired from first-class cricket at the end of the 2007 season but in December of that year, aged 38, Middlesex persuaded him out of retirement with a two-year contract. Though he performed well with the ball last season, snaring 37 Championship wickets at 27.21, he has been less effective so far this year with 14 wickets at 44.14 from eight games.

"Shaun cares passionately about how Middlesex performs and has worked extremely hard to turn the team in to a winning outfit but the indifferent cricket we continue to play has worn him down," said Fraser. "Neil was identified as a worthy successor to Udal earlier in the season and he will captain the club once Adam Gilchrist leaves. Neil is an extremely impressive young man. He is a fine player and is highly respected by everyone at the club."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Rahul on June 13, 2010, 17:02 GMT

    Why does not Owais Shah get the captiancy. He is the senior in the team, experienced player & consistent performer.

  • Robert on June 12, 2010, 15:36 GMT

    "but the indifferent cricket we continue to play has worn him down," said Fraser. "

    That how to motivate your players Gus! What a plonker!

  • Rob on June 12, 2010, 6:01 GMT

    Well said mulpragus. Shaun was critical in helping middlesex to achieve our only silverware for a long time, and it seems to me typical of his character that he should step down in such a dignified way after a tough period for the club and the man personally. As for whether he should continue to bowl, I am sure he will exhibit similar self-awareness - he has not, to me, looked very threatening this year, but there is plenty of time left in the season yet, and it is possible that shedding the burden of captaining such a mercurial side will allow him to perform better. Good luck Shaun, and thanks.

    And good luck Adam Gilchrist - it was a pleasure to see you rediscover for your new club the terrifying talent and aggression which I have only ever enjoyed on the receiving end. It's even more fun when you're on our side.

  • iain on June 11, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    I am a member of Middlesex CCC and I would like through the auspices of Cricinfo to thank Shaun Udal for the fantastic service he has given my great club these past few years, god knows where we would now be without him. My sincere hope is that he will continue playing for us, I am sure he still has acouple of good seasons in him with the ball, but more than that, the help and advice he could offer on field to his ' eventual' replacement will I am sure prove to be invaluable. There are not many like Shaun Udal around, we should consider ourselves blessed that this great pro had chosen to end his career with us, thankyou Shaun.

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