Leicestershire news October 6, 2010

Hoggard receives backing after Davidson steps down

ESPNcricinfo staff

Leicestershire's captain, Matthew Hoggard has received the backing of the county board and players after the former chairman Neil Davidson stepped down from his position on Tuesday with a parting shot at a man whom he accused of destabilising the club in the course of a season-long row.

Earlier in the summer, Hoggard and the head coach Tim Boon led a player's revolt against Davidson, whom they accused of interfering in team affairs, as well as forcing the departure of the chief executive, David Smith, who - as a former professional - had been popular with the playing staff at Grace Road.

In a statement released on Wednesday night, Davidson wrote: "I find [Hoggard's] actions difficult to understand, and I hope Matthew fully realises that his irresponsible behaviour has led to the chaos which has engulfed the club ever since."

However, Hoggard's Leicestershire colleague, Paul Nixon, told ESPNcricinfo that the squad remained fully supportive of their captain's stance. "Every player is 100% behind Matthew Hoggard," he said. "He and the players have worked with the support of the PCA throughout this ugly situation. The players and staff I have talked to are extremely positive about the news."

That stance was echoed in a statement from the club board. "Following Neil Davidson's resignation as chairman, he has issued a personal statement to the press. The board of Leicestershire CCC wishes to distance itself from the statement he has made.

"The off-field problems of the club can be traced back to the resignation of the former chief executive at the end of June and it is unfair to place any blame on the captain and players, who ended the season with some exceptional performances.

"Matthew Hoggard has had an excellent first season with the club, has taken 50 Championship wickets and has grown into the captaincy as the season progressed. Matthew is highly respected within the dressing room and he and all the players have the full support of the board."

In his own statement, Davidson claimed he had set Hoggard a deadline to withdraw his name from a letter to the board that had demanded his dismissal, but was left with no option but to step down when Hoggard failed to do so.

The statement continued: "Indeed, had he not put his name to those letters in the first place - which, if he had thought it through properly, I believe he would not have done - then the current crisis at the club could have been avoided. It was totally wrong of the players to become involved in these matters.

"On September 20th, I informed the LCCC Board that if Hoggard did not withdraw his name within 14 days, my position as chairman would be untenable and I would resign. No withdrawal has been forthcoming, and therefore I have today further informed the Board that I cannot continue in these circumstances."

Leicestershire plan to make a further comment on the matter following a board meeting next week.