Suffolk captain Caley standing down

PHIL Caley's 15-year reign as Suffolk cricket captain is over.Caley, who is the longest-serving captain in the county's history, is standing down.The 46-year-old had indicated his willingness to carry on as skipper for the 2009 season, but has decided to step aside, although he will still be registered as a player.

Nick Garnham

PHIL Caley's 15-year reign as Suffolk cricket captain is over.

Caley, who is the longest-serving captain in the county's history, is standing down.

The 46-year-old had indicated his willingness to carry on as skipper for the 2009 season, but has decided to step aside, although he will still be registered as a player.


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Caley, who made his debut in 1982, led Suffolk to the Eastern Division title of the Minor Counties Championship in 2005, before a rain-ruined play-off match against Western Division winners Cheshire saw the shield shared.

Two years later Caley captained Suffolk to victory over Cheshire in the final of the Minor Counties KO Trophy in the county's first-ever appearance at Lord's.

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Caley said yesterday: “It is the right time for a new captain to come in. It is better for me to go now than later. The county needs to look forward and I don't want to stand in the way.

“The new captain will have a lot of people around to help him through the early stages, and I will be there to talk to if he needs me.”

Caley looked back on his time in charge and said: “It has been a long, but enjoyable, journey. To begin with it was hard work because there was no infrastructure to help the captain.

“A lot of the weight was taken off my shoulders when Kevin Brooks came on board as director of cricket and even more so when Andy Brown came in as coach. The legacy of that will benefit the new captain to drive the county forward.”

Caley, not surprisingly, said that the highlight of his tenure was winning the KO Trophy at Lord's.

“We proved to be the best team on the day and thoroughly deserved to lift the trophy.”

Other highlights included scoring twin centuries against Cambridgeshire at Ransomes in Ipswich in August 1997 over the same Bank Holiday weekend that Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris, and the first time he met Derek Randall, the former England batsman who spent seven seasons playing for Suffolk.

“To have someone like him in the team, who was scoring 600 runs a year, took the pressure off me, although I had to twist his arm to come back each year!”

Caley did not appear for Suffolk in their quest to defend their one-day title last year, Paul King and then Justin Bishop taking charge of a disappointing campaign that saw Suffolk fail to advance beyond the group stage.

No decision has yet been made on who will succeed Caley, but it is likely that Suffolk will appoint a captain from within the current set-up, with one of Bishop, Tom Huggins and Chris Swallow the favourites to assume the mantle.

Paul Jarvis, who took over from Brown as coach last season, is set to continue as coach.

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