Adam Gilchrist.—AP

LONDON Australia great Adam Gilchrist will captain Middlesex in their next six matches after Shaun Udal announced his resignation as skipper of the Lords-based county with immediate effect on Friday.

Gilchrist, captain until batsman Neil Dexter takes permanent charge, is now set to lead Middlesex in their upcoming five domestic Twenty20 matches, starting with Fridays game against Kent at Canterbury.

And the wicketkeeper/batsman -- elevated to the captaincy a day after being dismissed for nought -- will also lead Middlesex in their 50-over tour match against Australia at Lords on June 19.

Commenting on Gilchrists appointment, Middlesexs director of cricket, Angus Fraser, said in a statement on Friday “It would be foolish for Middlesex not to make use of one of the most experienced and respected cricketers the game has produced whilst he is at the club.

“He captained the Deccan Chargers to success in the 2009 Indian Premier League and led Australia in all forms of the game with distinction on numerous occasions. In his short time in England he has already had an influential role in the T20 cricket we are playing.” Former Middlesex and England pace bowler Fraser added “Everything about Adam is world class and since his arrival he has had an extremely positive effect on the dressing room.

“Our players love having him around and playing in the same side as Adam shows our young cricketers what is required to be a great player.

“Adams presence gives Neil a wonderful opportunity to watch and learn from one of the finest and most respected players to play the game.”

The 38-year-old Gilchrist was out for nought against Somerset in Thursdays six-wicket Twenty20 loss at Lords, having managed just two in his first game for Middlesex.

Former England off-spinner Udal joined Middlesex from Hampshire, where the 41-year-old has spent the bulk of his career, in 2008 and was handed the captaincy in September that year.

But Fraser said the countys “indifferent” cricket -- they are second from bottom in the second division of the two-tier first-class County Championship -- had worn down Udal, who remains available as a player, and had adversely affected his bowling too.

“Shaun cares passionately about how Middlesex CCC performs and has worked extremely hard to turn the team in to a winning outfit but the indifferent cricket we continue to play has worn him down,” Fraser said.

“It has affected his bowling too. Shaun is an intelligent and articulate man and he feels the team needs a change in leadership.

Udal added “Captaining Middlesex has been a huge honour for me. There can be few better feelings than leading a team out at Lords.

“Letting go of something like that is extremely difficult but Angus Fraser and I have agreed that this is the best way forward for the club.”


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