Norfolk CCC announce signing of Scotland international and captaincy change
- Credit: PA
Scotland international Rob Taylor has been announced as Norfolk County Cricket Club's new professional for next season.
The 27-year-old's signing was announced at the club's annual general meeting at Manor Park, along with another important on-pitch change.
It was also announced that captain Chris Brown will be handing on the one-day captaincy to Ashley Watson, although he will continue to lead the Unicorns Championship three-day team.
'I was elected as captain again for 2017 and I had decided that in one-day cricket I wanted to take more of an off-field role, in terms of coaching the lads,' Brown explained. 'I felt it was time for me to stand down as captain in one-day but to remain in the longer format and I'm looking forward to it.
'I'm 42 now and I can't go on forever. Our chairman David Bowker and Ashley and I had a chat on the penultimate day at Cumberland last season and I said I was thinking about not playing the one-dayers.
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'Ashley stood in for me against Lincolnshire last season when I was injured and I wanted to take on a bit more in terms of coaching. It gives my body a bit more a chance to recover from three-day games as well.'
The appointment of all-rounder Taylor follows his release by Leicestershire at the end of this season, having scored 1,073 first-class runs at an average of 21.03, also claiming 72 wickets at an average of 39.18.
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With no Scotland matches during the summer to prevent his involvement with Norfolk, Brown is pleased with the signing, which brings an end to Garry Park's three years with the county, when he scored 1,065 runs at an average of 36.72 in 18 Championship matches.
'We've been talking to Rob pretty much since the start of October as we had to make a decision on whether to stick with Garry, who has been a loyal servant, but we've decided to go in a different direction,' Brown continued.
'Garry's a superb lad, he contributed more in the longer format than the shorter, but off the field as a bloke he is very popular. With Rob, certainly in the one-day game, his bowling skills is where he has been most prominent for Leicestershire and Scotland.
'We're hoping he can add to our existing bowling attack and bring that aggressive bowling style to the team.'
Annual awards were also presented at the AGM on Saturday, with Brown winning the Richard Lane Player of the Season trophy after an exceptional season which saw him take his 500th wicket in all forms of the game for the county.
The off-spinner also topped the bowling rankings for the MCCA Unicorns Championship, taking 38 wickets at an average of 15.34, with a best of 7-47 and five wickets in four consecutive games. As a result of this he will be awarded the Frank Edwards Trophy at the AGM of the Minor Counties Cricket Association at Lord's next Thursday.
Jordan Taylor won the David & Joyce King Young Player of the Season award, based chiefly on his unbeaten 84 in a four-wicket win at Northumberland in a Trophy group game and 103 during a 32-run victory at Cumberland on the final day of the Championship season – helping Norfolk to finish level on points with Cambridgeshire in fourth place.
The Sir David Thorne Bowl for Services to the Club was presented to Tim Ferley for significantly raising the profile of the club through his promotional work during his time on the club's committee.
Gail Armstrong was also elected as president, succeeding Robin Huggins and becoming only the second woman to hold the position in the history of Norfolk CCC.