Lancashire have appointed all-rounder Tom Smith as their new captain ahead of the 2015 season.
The 29-year-old was Lancashire’s Player of the Season in 2014, claiming 54 wickets at an average of 20.46. He also made several important contributions with the bat, accumulating 773 runs and seven half-centuries, but saw his side relegated to Division Two.
Smith replaces club veteran Glen Chapple, who is expected to fulfil a player-coach role alongside the recently appointed Ashley Giles who is now the club’s Head Coach and Director of Cricket.
With this news comes the revelation that fellow all-rounder Steven Croft will be vice-captain at Lancashire, rewarding the 30-year-old for a similarly dedicated service to the Red Rose county.
Croft enjoyed a resurgence in form last season, finishing top of Lancashire’s batting averages after scoring 786 runs in 12 games. The Blackpool-born all-rounder is an important figure in Lancashire’s one-day set-up, bowling economical off-spin to add to his usefulness and potentially devastating impact with the bat.
Reflecting on his appointment as club captain, Smith said: “I was lucky enough to have a meeting with Ashley and he offered me the job. I was over the moon. It’s not every day you get to captain your boyhood club that you’ve grown up with and it’s truly a great honour.
“It is a dream to captain Lancashire, it is a massive club, it is the club I grew up watching as a kid. My idols have all played here and now to walk out onto the pitch as the club captain it is a moment ever Lancashire lad dreams of.
“When the opportunity comes it is one you take with both hands. I just can’t wait now to get started. I have a great support network around me here at the club and I trust all the players here implicitly and I know they will back me whatever decision I make. I hope that Ash (Giles) and I can now start a period of success for Lancashire.”