Sam Whitney has stepped down as captain of Shropshire’s National Counties Cricket Association Championship side after two years in the role.
He said he has been proud to lead the county in three-day cricket but feels the time is right to give someone else an opportunity.
Whitney, also Shropshire vice-captain in one-day cricket for the last two seasons, will remain available for selection for Shropshire’s Championship side, but has decided to no longer play one-day cricket for the county.
The Bridgnorth leg-spinner, who has also contributed valuable runs down the order for Shropshire, made his debut in a three-day match against Devon at Sandford in 2017.
“I’ve been very proud to captain Shropshire,” said Whitney, 33. “I’m a Shropshire lad and I started playing for the county for the under-10s team.
“When you’re playing at that age you don’t quite realise that you’re going to carry on through all the age groups and end up captaining the senior side.
“It’s quite an achievement and I’m not sure if many others have done that.
“I was really proud to get the chance to captain the county after being involved for a few years and, while it’s been a testing time after taking it on during the Covid pandemic, I’ve really enjoyed leading the team.
“I can’t really put everything I want to put into it now and I’m also getting married next year, so looking to the future I think Shropshire needs a new young captain who has that drive and energy to really take it on for the next few years.
“There’s a really good opportunity with some very good youngsters coming through.
“It’s just about getting them all out on the field as that’s been one of the main issues, the availability of players.
“I’m proud of the number of new players we have given experience of playing National Counties cricket to.
“There’s an opportunity to invite a few of the guys who have done well in the Shropshire League over the last few years to train with the squad this winter.
“It’s a chance to see how they can be developed, to take their game forward and get them involved with Shropshire a bit more.”
Whitney added: “I would like to thank John Abrahams as he gave me the opportunity to captain the side.
“Thanks as well to Richard Lees, the Shropshire secretary, and to chairman John Hulme as they have been great during my two years in the role.
“They put a lot of hours in and have backed me 100 per cent with everything. It’s been a great honour to captain the side and I want to see Shropshire do well.
“I still want to be involved in three-day cricket and, if I’m playing well, I’m available to play.”
Shropshire chairman John Hulme thanked Whitney for leading Shropshire’s Championship side during the last two seasons.
He said: ”We wish to thank Sam for his services over the last two seasons. He was a popular captain and made a valuable contribution, in particular helping to nurture a young side still in transition.
“He remains an important member of the team and we are delighted that he will still be available for Championship games next year.
“The appointment of Sam’s successor is now awaiting formal ratification by the club’s general committee. An announcement is expected very shortly.”