Chris Adams celebrates Sussex's Pro40 title moments after revealing he would walk away as leader © Getty Images
Chris Adams, the Sussex captain, has announced he will be standing down at the end of the season following 11 years in charge. The allrounder Michael Yardy, who has played one-day internationals for England, will take over.

An emotional Adams made the decision public after Sussex won the Pro40 title with a thrilling two-wicket victory against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

"I just feel the time is right for me to go," he told the Argus. "I always promised myself one season of playing without the responsibility of captaincy and I am looking forward to that now.

"I have had 11 fantastic years in charge of a wonderful group of players but the team is changing. We have had a glimpse of that this season and also that 'my team', which has been together for a long time, is starting to break up, especially with Mushtaq Ahmed retiring."

Yardy said: "He's going to be a tough act to follow but I am really looking forward to the challenge and I'm sure I will have his support if he carries on playing next season."

Adams made a high-profile move from Derbyshire to Sussex in 1997 and began building a side that would become one of the major forces on the domestic scene. He has brought three Championship titles to Hove, including the first of their history in 2003, plus the C&G Trophy in 2006.

"The end of the Yorkshire game will be a sad day for everyone, but at the same time an exciting one," Mark Robinson, the cricket manager, said. "Grizz has been at the helm for the club's most successful ever period and will thoroughly deserve all the tributes and praise that he will receive. I would like to thank him personally and on behalf of the club for all he has done for Sussex.

Adams said he was keen to continue his playing career, but he won't be short of offers to move into a managerial position. The top job has opened up at Hove following the departure of Gus Mackay to Surrey, as their managing director, and Adams has never made any secret of wanting a major role in running a county side.

He almost left Sussex at the end of 2006 to take a similar post with Yorkshire, but shortly before agreeing a deal decided on staying. Two Championship titles followed in consecutive seasons and the Adams era will go down as the greatest in Sussex's history.