Former Northamptonshire and England all-rounder David Capel is the latest inductee into the club’s Hall of Fame.
‘Capes’ made 270 first-class appearances for his native county between 1981 and 1998, as well as 300 List A matches, and in 1987 became the first Northamptonshire-born cricketer to represent England at Test level since George Thompson 77 years earlier.
One of the most determined and combative players in the club’s history, he joined Northamptonshire’s staff as an ‘apprentice cricketer’ in 1980 (at 40 pounds a week) and gave 32 years’ unbroken loyal service to NCCC as player and coach until 2012.
David’s career statistics make impressive reading; he scored 10,869 first-class runs and claimed 467 wickets for Northamptonshire – opening his account of Championship victims by dismissing Sir Geoffrey Boycott at Middlesbrough in 1982.
In limited-overs cricket he logged 6,274 runs and 237 wickets, and was named Man of the Match on five occasions including the NatWest Trophy semi-final against Leicestershire at Grace Road in 1987.
That same summer saw him make his Test debut against Pakistan at Headingley. Coming to the crease with England in dire straits at 30-5 courtesy of Imran Khan and Wasim Akram he fought his way to a battling half-century. He went on to play 15 Tests and 23 One-Day Internationals, never letting his country down.
He remained a key member of the Northamptonshire side up to his retirement from the first-class game in 1998 and helped to pioneer the ‘pinch-hitter’ role (a description he has never liked!) at the top of the batting order in domestic one-day cricket, in the wake of the 1996 World Cup. He took a successful benefit in 1994.
Always totally dedicated to the club, proud Northamptonian David subsequently turned his attentions to developing the County players of the future. He was named Director of Excellence in 1999 and later took charge of the club’s Academy. He graduated to head coach in 2006, succeeding Kepler Wessels, and his side came within a whisker of achieving Championship promotion in 2009.
He is a worthy addition to the Hall of Fame at the County Ground – joining fellow club legends George Thompson, Billy East, ‘Nobby’ Clark, Fred Bakewell, Dennis Brookes, Freddie Brown, Frank Tyson, Keith Andrew, Colin Milburn, David Steele, Bishan Bedi, Allan Lamb, Ken Turner, George Tribe, Mushtaq Mohammad and the Kingston family.
A further induction is planned for June.