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Ashley Watson would relish challenge of Norfolk captaincy on permanent basis

PUBLISHED: 13:51 23 August 2018 | UPDATED: 13:51 23 August 2018

The Norfolk team line up for a picture before their match against Cambridgeshire this week. Back row (left to right) David Bowker (chairman of selectors), Jason Reynolds, Will Rogers,  Ben Coote, Brett Stolworthy, Andy Hanby, Ryan Findlay, Matthew Plater, Charlie Rogers (12th man), Andrew Borrett (scorer). Front row: Sam Arthurton, Chris Brown (captain and coach), Ashley Watson (acting captain), Ben France and Tom New Picture: TIM FERLEY

The Norfolk team line up for a picture before their match against Cambridgeshire this week. Back row (left to right) David Bowker (chairman of selectors), Jason Reynolds, Will Rogers, Ben Coote, Brett Stolworthy, Andy Hanby, Ryan Findlay, Matthew Plater, Charlie Rogers (12th man), Andrew Borrett (scorer). Front row: Sam Arthurton, Chris Brown (captain and coach), Ashley Watson (acting captain), Ben France and Tom New Picture: TIM FERLEY

Archant

Ashley Watson enjoyed his first taste of captaincy for Norfolk in the Minor Counties Championship - and would love to take on the role on a full-time basis.

Watson led his county against Cambridgeshire at Manor Park because Chris Brown was unavailable due to commitments with England’s Under-17s.

The game ended in a frustrating defeat but the stand-in skipper feels he has benefited from the experience. And now he is hoping his name comes into the frame when the powers-that-be sit down to discuss a replacement for Brown, who is retiring at the end of the season at the age of 44 to focus on coaching.

“It was a very proud moment when I walked out at Manor Park as Norfolk’s three-day captain for the first time,” said Watson. “I am Norfolk born and bred and have been representing the county since the age of 13 so it meant a lot to me when I was asked to stand in for Chris.

“Obviously he will be a tough act to follow – he’s a excellent captain and has 500 Minor Counties Championship wickets to his name. But I feel I have done a decent job captaining the limited overs team over the last two years and I would like the job and will certainly be throwing my hat into the ring.”

Watson’s first taste of the top job in Norfolk cricket ended in disappointment as his side fell 31 run short when chasing 207 to win on the final day.

“Obviously it wasn’t the result I wanted but I enjoyed the extra responsibility of captaincy,” he said. “It is a big step up from being one-day captain because there are so many more things to think about - but it went okay and it was just a shame we couldn’t get the win that would have kept our title hopes alive going into the final game.

“It was a tough wicket to score quickly on but after bowling them out for 210 it was a bit disappointing to only get a lead of 28 in reply. I was hoping for something like 70-80 and then we really would have been in a strong position.

“We still could have won it on final day when Tom New and Sam Arthurton were together but things changed when Tom was unlucky to be given out and Sam was bowled four balls later.”

Norfolk quickly went from 87-1 to 87-3 and were all out for 175.

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