Wednesday, September 26, 2012
George Walker believes his decision to stand down as Norfolk captain is in the best interests of both himself and the county side.
The 28-year-old Swardeston left-arm spinner has cited a dip in form as the sole reason behind the move, following two years at the helm.
Walker, who has also played for Leicestershire, said: “I’ve not had the best of seasons personally for the county, as well as for my club side. I’ve not bowled as well as I have done in the past and I thought that by taking this opportunity now to relieve myself of the captaincy, the team can be picked on merit and it avoids a situation in the future where I am only in because I am captain.
“I’m not saying I don’t want to play, I just want to get back to my best form.
“I’ve discussed it with a few people and decided it is the right thing to do. Maybe it is a bit selfish, but I also think it is best for the team. If I can get back to bowling how I should be, it should benefit the team and I want Norfolk to have the best possible chance of doing well. By doing it now, it gives the committee plenty of time to think about who will take over next year.”
Walker captained Norfolk for the first time in July 2010, against Northumberland at Manor Park, when he stood in for injured skipper Carl Rogers. He led the side for all three matches at Horsford that summer and was appointed permanent captain when Rogers stepped down at the end of the year.
His first win in charge did not arrive until Norfolk’s eighth game of the 2011 season and they finished seventh in the Minor Counties Championship, having lost all four MCCA Knockout Trophy games. This year’s one-day schedule was wiped out by rain, but Norfolk secured a third-place finish in the Championship after a win and five draws.
Walker, who took nine Championship wickets at an average of 39.44 this summer, added: “I reckon I’ve done a reasonable job and I’ve always picked the team for the right reasons. We’ve had some poor results, but we’ve also had some very positive ones, especially with a lot of younger players coming through.
“It’s a great set of lads with a fantastic team spirit and that’s helped me along the way. I’ve enjoyed being captain, it’s been a great privilege and a big honour.”
Walker will continue to make himself available for Norfolk, although he may opt out of next year’s Knockout Trophy games in the early part of the summer in a bid to rediscover his form with Swardeston.
As for who his successor will be, he said: “I think there will be a few names bandied about, but I will leave that up to the committee unless I’m asked for my opinion.
“I informed Graham Littlewood (Norfolk chairman) and Chris Brown (player/coach) and the rest of the team of my decision and I’ve had some nice responses back from people, saying they understand my reasons.”
Littlewood said a decision on Walker’s replacement could be made at an executive committee meeting on November 1, with an announcement at the club’s AGM on December 1. Among the current side, the obvious candidates would appear to be Brown, who captains Horsford, club professional Trevor Ward and opening batsman James Spelman – although he relinquished his captaincy role at Great Witchingham earlier this year.
Littlewood added: “George has been very honest and has had the courage to resign. Whatever walk of life you are in, if something affects your confidence it can be very difficult.
“In his time as captain George has bound the team together very strongly and there is a fantastic team spirit with everyone pulling in the same direction.”