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June 6, 2006
Ben Hutton, the Middlesex captain, has dropped himself for their next Championship match, against Yorkshire at Southgate on Wednesday. Having scored just 170 runs in five matches this season he has been demoted to the second eleven and the captaincy has been handed to Scott Styris.
It is a significant decision and John Emburey, the director of cricket, said it showed that no one was safe in the team if they didn't perform. This is not the first time Hutton has stood aside for the benefit of the side; he has previously left himself out of the one-day team. His place as opener will be taken by Nick Compton, who has performed encouragingly in the middle order.
Last year wasn't full of runs for Hutton, either, with 16 Championship games bringing 899 runs at 32 and he was criticised at times for some negative captaincy. His replacement, Styris, didn't set the world alight in his first match of the season, scoring 13 runs and going wicketless against Warwickshire two weeks ago.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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