Chris Taylor has spoken of his astonishment at being axed as Gloucestershire's captain for 2006. Jon Lewis, the England seamer, has been named as his replacement.

"I'm yet to have a formal meeting with them so this has caught me by surprise," Taylor told BBC Sport. "We had a very poor season. There are a number of things we need to do to but I am not happy that one of those is to relieve me of the captaincy.

"To suggest that my captaincy of the championship side is the key contributing factor to the club's poor results this year is disappointing and unfair," he added.

"I believe I have been let down by the management structure of the club and given little support."

Taylor was made captain in 2004 but, in what was a poor season this year for Gloucestershire, they were relegated to the second division, with Taylor missing the final eight weeks of the season owing to a dislocated shoulder.

Lewis, who played in three one-dayers for England this summer, in the precursor to the Ashes, told Gloucestershire's website: "This is a very exciting challenge for me. I look forward to working with all my players who, I believe, form one of the strongest squads in the country. We are already back in training and I cannot wait for next season to start."

Neither Alex Gidman, who deputised in Taylor's absence, nor Craig Spearman could prevent the team dropping down into the second tier in the four-day competition and the National League.

Taylor did concede, however, that his replacement will do a fine job for the county: "Jon is a quality cricketer with international experience and I have no doubt that he will lead us in the right direction," he said.

"I will put this experience behind me and move on. I am Gloucestershire through and through and have always given everything when representing my county. I am looking forward to regaining my fitness as soon as possible and preparing for next summer so I am in a position to give 100% to Jon, my team mates and the supporters."