February 3, 2000

Connor succeeds Smithies as new England captain

Clare Connor has been appointed Captain of the England Women's Cricket Team following the resignation of Karen Smithies, who stepped down after a series of disappointing performances during the current tour of Australia.

Connor, who has captained Sussex for the past three years, is promoted from vice-captain and she takes over the captaincy with immediate effect. She will therefore lead the England Team on the second leg of the tour to New Zealand. The team travels from Sydney to Wellington on Sunday 6th February to play a further six one-day games, five of which are international fixtures against New Zealand.

Smithies had been Captain since 1993, the year in which she lead England to their second World Cup victory. She was subsequently awarded her OBE in recognition of England's achievement.

Paul Farbrace, Senior Coach, said, "Karen is very disappointed and we are sad to accept her resignation, but I would like to thank her for the outstanding contribution to women's cricket which she has made over the years.

"Taking on the role of Captain half way through a tour will not be easy, but Clare possesses the talent and personality to meet the challenges ahead. After a disappointing trip so far, we are looking forward to a fresh start in New Zealand."

Clare Connor said, "It is a great honour to have been made captain and I am looking forward to leading England out for the first time in New Zealand. Collectively we have not done ourselves justice on tour so far, but we have three weeks and six games left and we are now looking to restore some pride."

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For further information, please contact Mark Hodgson in Corporate Affairs: Tel: 0171 432 1251. Fax: 0171 289 5619. E-mail: mark.hodgson@ecb.co.uk