Captain Caley to carry on in 2009

SUFFOLK stalwart Phil Caley is to carry on playing in 2009 - and has hinted he might go back to captaining the county one-day cricket side.The 45-year-old still needs six runs to beat Simon Clements' all-time Suffolk Minor Counties Championship record of 9,219.

Elvin King

SUFFOLK stalwart Phil Caley is to carry on playing in 2009 - and has hinted he might go back to captaining the county one-day cricket side.

The 45-year-old still needs six runs to beat Simon Clements' all-time Suffolk Minor Counties Championship record of 9,219.

And although he is being typically cagey about his cricketing future there is little doubt that he will be back leading Suffolk next year.


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“I have a family holiday in Cyprus first - and will then start thinking about my future,” said Caley, who made his Suffolk debut in 1982.

“If I can lose a few pounds in weight and stay fit then I would expect to be back.

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“The six more runs appear to mean more to others than to me - and we will let that take its course.”

Caley handed over the one-day captaincy after leading Suffolk to the 2007 Minor Counties Trophy at Lord's last August with Paul King and then Justin Bishop taking over.

Suffolk failed to qualify from their group this summer and Caley said: “Justin is going to university, and we will see what influence that might have.

“I will have my kit at games as I did this year and there is the possibility I will captain again.

“The plan is to find a new Suffolk three-day captain through the one-dayers, but we will see what happens.”

Suffolk finished third in the Minor Counties Championship, but did not lose a game. And their record is just two defeats in the competition in the last four years.

These were against Northumberland when ironically they won the Eastern Division crown, and against Cambridgeshire last year.

Caley feels aggrieved that this excellent record has not been related to more trophies and he suggests a change in the way Minor Counties cricket is played.

“I would like to see two feeder divisions and a Premier League,” said Caley. “This would ensure that you played everybody in your division and that there was promotion and relegation.

“Lincolnshire won the Eastern Division this year, and the way that the rota went we did not meet them. And this has happened to us in the past.

“It is daft how it is done and there should also be more incentive to get teams on to the pitch when there is inclement weather about.”

Caley admits that he worked well with Andy Brown, the long-time Suffolk coach, who left last winter to take over a similar job at Derbyshire.

Paul Jarvis has replaced him and Caley was honest in his assessment. “The changeover was not seamless.

“Andy was very good at man management and we have become known for our professional approach.

“Paul and Andy have differing perceptions on the way to do things.

“Some of Paul's ideas have been good, and others not so good.”

Caley picked out batsman Martyn Cull for special mention, plus Bishop and keeper Chris Warn.

“We have stuck by Martyn, a lad who just gets on with his job, while Justin has also done very well swinging the ball more and bringing his batting on leaps and bounds. Chris has come on as well.”

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE-based cricket lover Gerald Blagdurn, who has hardly missed a Suffolk game since 1994, has been presented with a Suffolk shirt by the team and management.

He first started following Suffolk when Derek Randall played for the county and now mixes his time between watching Suffolk and Notts.

“The year when Suffolk won the Eastern Division, Notts won the title and England won the Ashes was remarkable,” said Gerald.

“And watching Suffolk at Lord's last year was another big highlight. The club is professionally run and the cricket played has been high class.”

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