October 2, 2000

Fraser to captain Middlesex

Staff and agencies

Angus Fraser
Photo © AFP

Angus Fraser has been appointed captain of Middlesex. The former England fast bowler, who was vice-captain last season, takes over from Justin Langer, who is likely to be touring with Australia next season.

Fraser takes over at a difficult time. The club finished bottom of the second division of the county championship, and are currently without a first team coach following the dismissal of Mike Gatting.

"It will be quite a challenge," Fraser told CricInfo, " but I'm going to give it my best shot. I thought our one-day cricket last season was pretty good, but our Championship form was certainly very disappointing."

"I'm aware that captaincy can seem a thankless task," the 35 year old seamer continued, "but I'm hopeful we can create an atmosphere where players can perform to the best of their ability. We keep saying it but there are good young players at the club, but they have to start to perform."

Few fast bowlers have made good captains, a fact that Fraser is aware of, but not all that bothered by. "I think the reasons for that are historical," Fraser said. "Most captains have been batsmen so it is hardly surprising that it's hard to think of good bowling captains. Maybe it's a hang over from the days when the noble lords batted, and the working class men bowled at them. I know that I spend a fair bit of time in the outfield but I have some experience of captaining Middlesex, the season before last, and it wasn't as tough as I'd thought it would be."

Fraser doesn't expect to pick the next county coach, but thinks it natural that he, and other senior members of the side, will be consulted. "Tufnell, Ramps and I will all have a view. We'll be working closely with whoever is employed so it would make sense to have some input," Fraser explained.

Fraser's England days may be behind him, but the wholehearted determination that made him England's best bowler of the 90's were still in evidence last season, and bode well for Middlesex's future.

"I didn't have an burning desire to be captain; I've always been absorbed by the job in hand, trying to do that to the best of my ability. I think one of the difficulties will be not over or under bowling myself, but I'm looking forward to it, and I'll do my very best."