Adam Mansfield looking forward to captaining Sudbury and Suffolk next season
Adam Mansfield is looking forward to leading both club and county after accepting the captaincy at Sudbury, to go alongside his Suffolk role.
The 27-year-old described last week’s news from the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League (EAPL) champions’ annual general meeting as a ‘proud moment’.
It comes as he reveals last year’s first-team skipper, Tom Huggins, will not be available for a significant amount of the season due to his family and work commitments.
Wicketkeeper Mansfield, was who vice captain of the Talbots as they successfully defended their EAPL crown, believes star man Huggins will be missing for ‘around half’ of their 2019 fixtures.
“He is going to play when he can,” he said.
“He has got two children now and is a bit more involved in the first team at Essex (as a coach).
“Hopefully it gives someone else an opportunity to stand up.”
He admitted it was strange to have become captain of a Minor Counties side ahead of his club, but does not feel taking both on will prove a problem. Of being awarded the Sudbury captaincy he said: “It is a nice honour. I have been there since I was a junior, so to be asked to be captain is a pretty proud moment.
“It is a bit odd, I suppose, being captain of the county before club but we’ll see how it goes.
“Tom is going to be quite a hard act to follow but the players are still hungry to win for for a third time and, ultimately, a captain is only as good as their players.”
Darren Batch will continue as club captain, which is more of an administrative role in a bridge between the players and the selection committee, which he sits on, though Mansfield will pick the side, as Huggins did.
The new Sudbury skipper is hoping to not only lead Sudbury to more silverware but also to end Suffolk’s wait for a trophy, having finished runners-up in the Eastern Division of the Unicorns Championship in both of his seasons at the helm so far.
This year also saw Suffolk come within a whisker of reaching their first Unicorns KO Trophy final since winning the competition in 2007, going out to Devon who went through by virtue of losing fewer wickets after the semi-final tie at Sidmouth finished with the scores level.
“I really hope 2019 might be the year that Suffolk can finally win some silverware,” said the player who had an outstanding 2018 for his county, setting a new record for the most dismissals in a season by a Suffolk wicketkeeper, which had stood for 40 years.
He passed the 37 dismissals set by stumper Stuart Westley in the 1978 season, after also breaking Westley’s record of 10 catches in a match that had stood since 1980 when taking 12 against Hertfordshire.
Suffolk coach Andy Northcote said: “Adam brings us the solidarity we need from a skipper.
“He is a hard-working cricketer who is always thinking about the game and, a bit like (Suffolk professional) Jaik Mickleburgh, someone the boys look up to.
“He brings a certain calmness to our environment, is happy to give the younger players a go and believes that the 11 boys we pick can win any game we play. That’s not often an easy job for a captain.”
Meanwhile, Sudbury have learned they will start their 2019 campaign at home to Cambridge Granta on April 20.
The side will return to training at Sudbury Sports Centre on January 5.