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IT’S BEEN the cricketing equivalent of the sacking season in football.
Not even halfway through the season and no less than six captains have already stepped down from their roles in the Southern Electric Premier League, writes Steve Wilson of The News..
Hursley Park, New Milton and Andover have had a change at the top and they are not alone.
Division two club Hambledon saw Ian Turner relinquish his role to Rob Atkins.
While in the top flight, there have been two changes with Richard Morris stepping aside at Bashley (Rydal) as Simon Watkins assumed command.
And Sarisbury Athletic’s long-serving David Banks handed over to Matt Journeaux.
It’s hard to know if there is a trend developing or it’s simply a coincidence.
But Journeaux thinks the responsibility can take its toll with so much other work to be done away from the pitch in terms of selection and administration.
Journeaux said: ‘It must be the season for it because there have been a few captains stepping down so far.
‘I think sometimes people may not always understand there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. It’s not just about setting the field on a Saturday.
‘I don’t know what it is but you don’t normally get quite so many stepping down in mid-season.’
Sometimes the role can take up several hours per week, which is not always the easiest task in attempting to fit it in around a job and a family life.
And clearly some have decided they no longer want the hassle.
Journeaux said: ‘It can be a bit of a thankless task at times. I think it was a bit different for Banksy. It got to a point where he wasn’t enjoying his cricket as much.
‘He’s had a few injuries and he’s got family as well.
‘He has been the captain for a lot of his career, so it was a bit of a surprise when he called me to tell me that he was stepping down.
‘He phoned me up and told me how he felt. I tried to persuade him to carry on but he said he didn’t want to do it any more.
‘So I told him I would be happy to take it on for the rest of the season and go from there.’
It’s not entirely a step into the unknown for Journeaux, who skippered the side during their Hampshire League days.
He said: I’ve had a fair bit of experience of captaincy.
‘I was captain about 10 years ago in the Hampshire League but then I went off to university.
‘I’ve done the indoor stuff, so I have kept my hand in it.
‘I always thought it would be nice to do it again at some point.
‘But I thought Banksy would keep doing it for a few years.
‘Now I’m looking forward to the challenge.
‘It’s just about trying to get the best out of the players, keeping them happy and making sure they enjoy their cricket. That is my main focus for me at the moment.