Apr 18 2012 By Jon Batham
NEIL DEXTER has stood down as Middlesex’s County Championship skipper on a temporary basis in an attempt to regain his batting form.
The 27-year-old told the Uxbridge Gazette only last week the pressures of captaining the Lord’s tenants were unconnected with his form slump stretching back to the middle of last season and which has seen him scratch just 115 runs in his last 12 first-class innings.
However, it seems Dexter has now had a change of heart and decided to step into the shadows in a bid to rediscover the touch which made him a stalwart of the middle order throughout the 2009 and 2010 seasons.
Chris Rogers will take over the four-day side on a temporary basis.
Announcing the decision Director of Cricket Angus Fraser said: “Once again I applaud Neil for his selfless and honest behaviour. I selected Neil as Middlesex CCC captain in 2010 because of the standards and values he holds, and he never lets you down.
“Neil’s captaincy during the thrilling three run victory over Surrey was outstanding. It played a major role in turning potential sorrow in to delight.”
“He is, however, not happy with his current form with bat and believes extra time spent concentrating on this part of his game will help return him to his best quickest, which is what we all want.
"Once Neil’s form returns, as it inevitably will, and he is happy with where he is at the captaincy will return to him.”
Dexter’s honest and brave decision to fall on his sword might have solved Director of Cricket angus Fraser a selection headache ahead of tomorrow’s County Championship game with Durham at Lord’s.
With Andrew Strauss and Steve Finn available for selection two of the side which beat surrey at the weekend must make way and with the captaincy lifted off his shoulders and in his current batting malaise Dexter would be a prime candidate to make way.
However, he may yet get a chance to continue in the top six with all-rounder Gareth Berg currently battling a chest infection, though Steven Crook has also been called up as cover.
Corey Collymore will not feature in the match after being rested.