Bishop appointed new Suffolk skipper

SUFFOLK have moved swiftly to appoint Justin Bishop as captain of their Minor Counties side.Bishop, the former Essex all-rounder, replaces Phil Caley, who last week confirmed he was standing down after 15 years as Suffolk skipper.

Nick Garnham

SUFFOLK have moved swiftly to appoint Justin Bishop as captain of their Minor Counties side.

Bishop, the former Essex all-rounder, replaces Phil Caley, who last week confirmed he was standing down after 15 years as Suffolk skipper.

The 27-year-old, who was on the staff at Chelmsford for seven years before being released, was offered the job ahead of Tom Huggins and Chris Swallow.


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The former England Under-19 international said: “I was very pleased to be asked to lead the side. It is a big honour for me as I was born and bred in Suffolk, and captaining the county is something I have always wanted to do.”

Bishop, who took over the captaincy of East Anglian Premier League side Bury St Edmunds in 2007, continued: “I am going to have a sit down with Kevin Brooks (the county's director of cricket) and talk about where we want to go as a county.

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“As we have had a fair amount of success I don't expect we will be making any drastic changes, although there are a few young players on the fringes of the side, such as Simon Rees, who made his debut last year, and Josh Davey, who has been taken on by the Middlesex Academy, who will be pushing for a place.”

Bishop, who has been a regular in the Suffolk side since making his debut in 2005 and led the side in two of their Minor Counties KO Trophy group games last season, said he expected it to be a smooth transition taking on the captaincy.

“A lot of the team have experience at first-class level, so if there are any problems on the field there are a group of us who can make decisions ourselves.

“Although we are quite a young side we are fairly experienced, so hopefully we can keep that group of players together over the next few seasons and we can go places.”

Norman Atkins, chairman of Suffolk CCA, said: “We are delighted to appoint Justin as our new county captain, and I am sure that with his previous experience he has the ability to follow in the footsteps of Phil Caley and continue the success of recent times.”

Kevin Brooks, Suffolk's director of cricket, said: “It will no doubt be seen as the start of a new era. We have a very talented and ambitious young but experienced team, and we feel that Justin is the right person to take the side forward over the next few years.

“I know I speak for all concerned that we are delighted that Justin is in a position to accept the offer and become captain of the county. He will be a good ambassador for the county both on and off the field in the same way that Phil was during his time as captain.”

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