Norfolk’s new skipper Chris Brown poised for a big challenge

New Norfolk captain Chris Brown (second right) with, from left, new life members, former captain Tracey Moore, immediate past president and former umpire Keith Bray and former captain Carl Rogers. New Norfolk captain Chris Brown (second right) with, from left, new life members, former captain Tracey Moore, immediate past president and former umpire Keith Bray and former captain Carl Rogers.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
6:04 PM

Chris Brown insists he will be able to cope with the added responsibility of the Norfolk captaincy.

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Brown was confirmed as the new skipper at Saturday’s AGM, taking over from George Walker, who stepped down at the end of last season following a loss of form.

The 38-year-old is already player-coach and a key bowler in the side, as well as having coaching commitments with the Norfolk Cricket Board and the ECB, but he is confident he will not be over-burdened: “It will be quite an all-encompassing role, but I will do it to the best of my ability,” he said. “The cricket committee had to decide which prominent player they saw fit to take over as captain and if you look around maybe Trevor Ward would have been a candidate, but he isn’t based in Norfolk.

“They approached me and after giving it some thought I decided to take on the role.

“Most of my coaching work with the ECB, the ICC Americas, ICC Europe and Nottinghamshire, who I have been working with this year, is on my own time. I can tailor my programme to suit my needs, so I don’t see it as an extra burden.

“It should be a fresh challenge, and it’s something I’m used to in terms of captaining the Unicorns A side, the Minor Counties and Horsford, so I’ve got some decent experience and I’m looking forward to it.”

Brown revealed he has been approached by two players with first class experience who are keen to play for Norfolk next season, and he is keen to get his captaincy reign off to a good start in the MCCA Knockout Trophy group games, which begin in April.

He said: “I think it’s a bit of a transitional stage, with a senior player in Carl Rogers retiring in the summer. More younger players have been integrated into the team in recent years and I hope that my leadership skills and coaching ability will help them.

“One-day cricket is a bit of a grey area for us, because we were poor in the competition two years ago and we didn’t get the chance to address that this year because of the weather. So the immediate goal for us is to put that right. We can then build on the promise we showed in the Championship – again we had some rain-affected games, but I thought we played some good cricket.”

Off-spinner Brown spent the early part of his career with Lancashire and Glamorgan before joining Norfolk from Cheshire in 2001. More recently he played three matches for the Unicorns in the Clydesdale Bank 40 in 2010 and in the same year he captained the Minor Counties side in the Second XI Championship. He also played first class cricket for Badureliya in Sri Lanka in 2006.

He said that he hopes to continue playing for Norfolk for at least the next two seasons: “I spoke to the ECB’s national lead spin bowling coach Peter Such in September and he said I should carry on playing as long as I can. I intend playing at least until I’m 40 and then assessing it.”

Norfolk chairman Graham Littlewood backed Brown to be successful: “Chris is a winner,” he said. “He’s very committed, he gives 100pc every time and he will have people on board with him.”

Also at Saturday’s AGM, Sam Arthurton was due to receive the Richard Lane Player of the Year Award and the David & Joyce King Young Player Shield, but was unable to attend through illness.

David Wild was duly voted in as president, replacing Keith Bray, whose term in office had come to an end.

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