There have been a few books on cricket captaincy over the years. While they are all interesting to read up on, they all focus of skippering at the top level, but what about the role of the club captain?
The two jobs can be very different and not only in tactics.
Here are the 9 most important duties a club captain has:
- Be welcoming. Home or away, everyone is taking up precious free time to play cricket. Remember this and greet the opposition warmly. It will make sure the spirit of the afternoon starts well.
- Examine the ground. If you read the pitch well you have a huge advantage. Get to the ground early enough to get a good idea of conditions and talk to the groundsman if he is there.
- Agree conditions of play. Clever opposition captains have some dirty tricks. Make sure the hours of play, local rules, new balls and intervals are agreed before the toss between captains and umpires.
- Be prepared. Speaking of pitfalls, don't forget: You must nominate your side before the toss, tally up the scorebook at half time and check the balls. Most people don't cheat, but someone is bound to try.
- Set your team roles. Everyone in the team will feel and perform better if they know what you want from them. Take a few minutes to take individuals aside to be sure they are clear. Don't forget to give everyone a game. New players need to be welcomed too.
- Set your strategy. Let the team know the overall plan for the day, including your target if you are batting first. When your plan inevitably changes, make sure everyone knows.
- Sweeping and rolling. Don't forget to ask about sweeping and rolling at the interval. It's polite if you offer as home captain and your responsibility to get it if it is to your advantage.
- Watch the match. Many captains don't watch the game when the team is batting. However, getting a feel for the game is vital and could give you a secret to success if you are looking for clues.
- Be a great host. Politeness costs nothing and makes such a difference to the day. Thank captain, umpires, scorers and opposition presidents. Don't forget to be a good host in the bar afterwards.
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