Lancashire name Smith as new skipper

Smith - new man at the helm
Smith - new man at the helm
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Relegated Lancashire County Cricket Club have named Chorley’s Tom Smith as new skipper, with Steven Croft as vice-captain

Smith takes over from Glen Chapple who led the club from 2009 and will now concentrate on a coaching and playing role.

The 29-year-old all-rounder made his senior debut for Lancashire in 2005 having come through the county’s academy ranks.

Last year, he was named as the club’s player of the year following an impressive campaign which saw him take 54 County Championship wickets and score 773 runs as a lower-middle order batsman.

Smith started his career in the Northern League with home-town team of Chorley.

He was a member of Lancashire’s academy in 2003/4 and earned a scholarship deal in 2005, the summer in which he made his first-class debut against Oxford University. Smith was part of Lancashire’s County Championship-winning squad in 2011, which was another excellent summer for him and one he capped off by entering the record books thanks to a stunning display in a 40-over win over Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge.

He lit up Trent Bridge with a fabulous 104-ball 117, the first ton of his one-day career, before returning figures of 4-48 from his eight overs as a thrilling two-run win was secured.

Smith became the first Red Rose player ever to score a hundred and take four wickets in the same one-day match.

Lancashire’s cricket director and head coach Ashley Giles said: “Tom has all the right ingredients of a good leader. He is well-respected, he plays all forms of the game, is a good professional, extremely mature and a good communicator.

“He is a guy who has come through the Lancashire system and knows exactly what it means to play for such a great county.

“The same can also be said of our new vice-captain, Steven Croft, who is another exceptional individual.

“Glen (Chapple) has done a fantastic job. He has moved into coaching and this is now an opportunity for the next generation of leaders. I believe the future of the club is in good hands.”

Smith added: “It is a tremendous honour for me to be appointed captain of the county I grew up supporting and have been lucky enough to play for.

“The Red Rose means so much to me as it does to all our members and supporters and I can assure everybody that I will lead our county to the best of my ability at all times.

“With the appointment of Ashley as cricket director and head coach it is an exciting new era for Lancashire cricket and one which we are all looking forward to.

“There have been some great captains of this club over the years, none more so than Glen Chapple who I have learnt a great deal from over the years, not just as a cricketer but also as a leader.

“I cannot wait to get started as captain and I would like to thank the club for putting their faith in me for this very important and responsible role.”