England batsman Eoin Morgan has taken over Middlesex’s limited-overs captaincy from Neil Dexter, who asked to step down from the position.
Morgan was yesterday named England’s new limited-overs vice-captain and today has become the Panthers’ skipper in the Royal London One-Day Cup and NatWest T20 Blast.
Middlesex expect Morgan to play in all but three of their group-stage white-ball games in 2014, which would be substantially more than in previous seasons. The matches he is expected to miss coincide with England one-day or Twenty20 internationals.
All-rounder Dexter is relinquishing the role to concentrate on his own game, having made a similar decision in 2012 over the first-class captaincy that led to Australia batsman Chris Rogers succeeding him.
Middlesex managing director of cricket Angus Fraser said: "Middlesex CCC are fortunate, in Eoin, to have one of the game's best young cricket brains at the club.
“This talent has been identified by England too and everyone at Middlesex CCC is chuffed that Eoin is regarded so highly. I, like many people who know him, am confident that he has what it takes and will prove to be a fine captain for both teams.
“When Neil Dexter informed me of his desire to stand down as limited-over captain before Christmas we were lucky that we did not have to look far for a replacement.
“I immediately contacted Eoin to see whether he was interested and his response was a firm 'yes'. We thought it best to wait until Eoin had returned from Australia, so that we could have a face to face chat, before making any announcements. Everyone at the club is excited at the prospect of working under Eoin.
“Middlesex CCC totally understands Neil's position and his desire to focus on his own game. Captaining a team is an honour but it is also stressful and tiring.
“I know that everyone at the club would like to thank Neil for the significant contribution he has made to Middlesex CCC in the past three years. Neil has led by example and his values have helped create a good culture at Middlesex CCC."
Morgan, who was Middlesex vice-captain under Shaun Udal in 2009 until his England commitments saw him stand down, said: "I am really excited about the prospect of captaining Middlesex CCC. Captaincy has always interested me and it is something I am looking forward to developing over the coming months.
“I have been at Middlesex CCC for a long time now and in the past I have shown leadership with my bat. I now feel I can expand that leadership role by captaining the side."
Dexter said: "It goes without saying that it has been a great honour to captain Middlesex CCC and to lead the side out at Lord's. At this moment in time, however, I believe I can offer more to Middlesex CCC by getting my game in the best possible shape it can be, and in Eoin the club has a great asset to take over.
“I have enjoyed the three and half years I have been in charge, especially winning LV=CC Division Two in 2011, and would like to thank everyone at the club for the support they have given me. I look forward to contributing to the good health of the club in any way I can."