Alex Wakely has resigned as captain of Northamptonshire in both red-ball and white-ball cricket with immediate effect.
His decision brings to an end a leadership chapter that saw the club win the domestic Twenty20 title twice – making Wakely the first captain in NCCC history to lift two major trophies.
He led the side 198 times in all formats (a figure surpassed only by Geoff Cook, Jim Watts and Allan Lamb) and his tally of 20 first-class victories ranks him as one of the club’s top ten most successful skippers in the longer game since 1905.
Adam Rossington will take charge of the side for the Specsavers County Championship match away to Durham next week, with Josh Cobb leading the Vitality Blast campaign.
“It’s been an honour and a privilege to captain Northamptonshire over the past few years but now I feel it’s time for someone new to have that honour,” Wakely said.
“It’s not a decision I’ve taken lightly. I’ve deliberated long and hard with family and friends for several weeks. When I first walked through the Wantage Road gates as a 12-year-old I never imagined I would one day have the opportunity to captain the side, let alone bring two trophies to the club.
“I want to thank everyone who made that dream possible.
“There have been plenty of highs and lows as captain but I’m immensely proud of what we’ve achieved. I have always given it 100 per cent and I just hope I’ve helped a few people along the way,” he added.
“As a captain you’re only as good as the people around you and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some incredible players, coaches and support staff. Without them, those trophies would not have been possible.
“I would like to wish my successors the best of luck in the future and I hope they enjoy the challenge as much as I have. Wear those stripes with pride!”
A product of Northamptonshire’s academy and England’s captain in the 2008 Under-19s World Cup, Alex – now 30 – took charge of the one-day side in 2013 whilst also becoming vice-captain under Stephen Peters in the Championship.
That summer saw the Steelbacks claim the T20 honours at Edgbaston and also achieve promotion to Division One in four-day cricket for the first time in a decade.
After missing the entire 2014 season through injury, Wakely was appointed captain in all formats in 2015. The following season – despite operating with a small squad and against a continuing background of tight financial constraints – he again led from the front as Northamptonshire repeated their T20 triumph in Birmingham, as well as winning the last three Championship matches of the summer.
In 2017 the team responded to Wakely’s insistence that they were ‘fed up with being average’ in the Championship and surprised many observers by logging nine victories in 14 games (the club’s second-highest percentage of wins in the competition, exceeded only in 1995) and sustaining a promotion challenge through to the final day of the campaign.
“Wakers is one of the best blokes in cricket, nobody has a bad word to say about him, its been an absolute pleasure to work alongside him for the last 6 years as Captain and Coach, and an even bigger pleasure to see him rise through the Academy to become a top first class player.” said head coach David Ripley.
“His captaincy record is there for all to see, trophies in the bag. I look forward to seeing him go on for many years as a player where he still has loads to offer.”
“I want to thank Alex for his enormous contribution to this club as captain over the past few years,” said NCCC chairman Gavin Warren.
“He led the team during a period of financial challenge and the board were always impressed with how he conducted himself.
“He will go down in the history books as one of our outstanding leaders, on a par with some of the great names of Northamptonshire cricket.”