Shaun Udal has stood down as Middlesex captain and will be replaced in the short-term by Adam Gilchrist and then for the rest of the season by Neil Dexter.
Udal, who took over as captain in 2008, believes the time is right for someone else to take over and Gilchrist will lead the side for the next six matches - five Friends Provident t20 matches and a 50-over game against the Australians before Neil Dexter takes the reins.
Dexter will first lead the side against Glamorgan in the FP t20 on 26th June and Udal will continue to be available for selection.
“Captaining Middlesex CCC has been a huge honour for me. There can be few better feelings than leading a team out at Lord’s and I have taken great pride in doing that over the course of the past three seasons," Udal said.
"Letting go of something like that is extremely difficult but Angus Fraser and I have agreed that this is the best way forward for the club. I would like to continue playing for Middlesex and will give my full support to both Adam Gilchrist and Neil Dexter.”
Middlesex have not enjoyed a good start to the 2010 season, currently sitting in eighth place in the second division of the LV= County Championship, fourth place in their Clydesdale Bank 40 table and having lost their first two FP t20 matches against Sussex and Somerset.
Middlesex Managing Director of cricket Angus Fraser commented:
“Shaun took over the captaincy at an extremely difficult time for the club and has led the side with energy and pride. During the two years he has been in charge he has helped create a united team and a positive environment. He now has a key role to play in assisting his successor, Neil Dexter.
"Shaun cares passionately about how Middlesex CCC performs and has worked extremely hard to turn the team in to a winning outfit but the indifferent cricket we continue to play has worn him down. It has affected his bowling too. Shaun is an intelligent and articulate man and he feels the team needs a change in leadership.
"His decision is respected by everyone at Middlesex CCC who would all like to thank him for the commitment he has shown during his time in charge. Shaun is not having the best of seasons but he still has a role to play on the field. Unless I hear otherwise he is available for selection for teams that will be picked on merit.
"Neil Dexter was identified as a worthy successor to Udal earlier in the season and he will captain the club once Adam Gilchrist leaves. Neil is an extremely impressive young man. He is a fine player and is highly respected by everyone at the club.
"On Adam taking charge - it would be foolish for Middlesex CCC not to make use of one of the most experienced and respected cricketers the game has produced whilst he is at the club. He captained the Deccan Chargers to success in the 2009 Indian Premier League and led Australia in all forms of the game with distinction on numerous occasions. In his short time in England he has already had an influential role in the t20 cricket we are playing.
"Everything about Adam is ‘World Class’ and since his arrival he has had an extremely positive effect on the dressing room. Our players love having him around and playing in the same side as Adam shows our young cricketers what is required to be a great player.
"Adam’s presence gives Neil a wonderful opportunity to watch and learn from one of the finest and most respected players to play the game."
Deter will become Middlesex's fifth captain in under three years following Ed Smith, Ed Joyce, Udal and then Gilchrist.
© Cricket World 2010