Captaincy would suit me, says Chris

CHRIS Swallow has confirmed that he would love to captain Suffolk.The Copdock and Old Ipswichians all-rounder is a certainty to make the final team and play his first game at Lord's on Monday when Suffolk take on Cheshire in the final of the Minor Counties Championship Knock-Out Trophy.

By Elvin King

CHRIS Swallow has confirmed that he would love to captain Suffolk.

The Copdock and Old Ipswichians all-rounder is a certainty to make the final team and play his first game at Lord's on Monday when Suffolk take on Cheshire in the final of the Minor Counties Championship Knock-Out Trophy.

And looking ahead, the 25-year-old, who has captained English Universities and made his Suffolk debut in 1999, says he wants to lead his home county one day.


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Born and educated in Ipswich, Swallow said: “I am not writing off current skipper Phil Caley by any means, and long may he continue. He has massive respect from the players.

“But I would love the chance to captain Suffolk at some stage.”

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Caley, 44, has decided to carry on in 2008. He has had a chat with Suffolk chairman Norman Atkins and agreed to continue.

Atkins said: “I had a long chat with Phil and it is all settled. I invited him to stay on, and he has agreed.

“He continues to do a wonderful job, and it would be the icing on the cake if he was to win the Knock Out Trophy at Lord's.

“Phil deserves to lead Suffolk out at Lord's - and to lift the trophy.”

Caley made his debut in 1982 and took over the captaincy in 1994.

Swallow would appear to be the best replacement when Caley does call it a day, and he added: “I am not sure what Paul King thinks as he is also an Ipswich lad and has been in the Suffolk team longer than me.

“But playing for Suffolk makes me proud and I still wear the same county sweater I was handed ten years ago.

“It has been stitched and sewn, but I don't plan to part with it for some while yet.”

The last time Suffolk played Cheshire, Swallow was left kicking his heels. Originally selected for the 2005 Minor Counties play-off final at Ransomes he was controversially omitted from the side after the first day had been rained-off.

Ben France became available after his match for Derbyshire ended - and Swallow had to sit out the two days.

Although it was not easy to take at the time, that blow has long been forgotten and over the last two seasons Swallow has turned into a genuine all-rounder.

“I love playing for Suffolk, and have set my sights on playing at Minor County level,” added Swallow.

“And to this end playing at Lord's in the KO Trophy is my FA Cup final. It is a dream come true, as we all want to play at Lord's from an early age.

“I sat in the stands watching England play India recently with my brother Ian and he said 'You lucky so and so getting the chance to play here'.

“Along with Phil and Paul I have been through the Suffolk process and have played for Suffolk at all age levels.

“I have had some lows, but plenty of highs. And they won't come any higher than Monday.”

Swallow, who has played at Trent Bridge for Nottingham Trent University and at Chester-le-Street for English Universities, played a big part in Suffolk's semi-final win over Oxfordshire. “It was an out of body experience,” he recalled.

In a low-scoring game Swallow struck the only six of the match and followed that up with a sumptuous four through the covers in the same over to confirm a nerve-wracking three-wicket win.

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