Test Match Sofa
Chapple still up for the fight despite relegation
By Graham Hardcastle
Glen Chapple has expressed his determination to be part of Lancashire’s bid to regain their Division One status in the LV= County Championship next season after relegation was confirmed at Lord’s earlier today.
The Red Rose captain, 38, began his career in 1992 and has taken over 880 first-class wickets. But he has no plans to hang up his boots, despite his team-mates forming a guard of honour for him after the lunch break during the final day of their defeat against Middlesex.
“I’m fit and still love playing,” said the one-time England limited-overs international. “My aim now would be to help the team get out of Division Two.”
Whether that means Chapple continues as captain for a fifth year in 2013 remains to be seen. Yet it would be a major surprise if his reappointment was not ratified by the club’s committee in the coming months.
“The captaincy’s always looked at quite a while after the season. It’s important that it’s the right man for the job,” he said, after putting the guard of honour down to his players having a bit of fun and trying to lighten the mood during a difficult day.
Lancashire have become the third team to win the Championship title one year and get relegated the next since the turn of the century, with Yorkshire in 2002 and Nottinghamshire in 2006 also suffering that fate.
The county has been affected by the weather, but who hasn’t? Their problems have stemmed from their poor batting displays, highlighted by posting 200 or less in 12 completed innings. Only South African Ashwell Prince has topped 1,000 runs for the campaign.
Their other issue has been their bowling. While it has not been as bad as the batting, they have still struggled to bowl teams out with the regularity they did last year. Not one bowler has taken 50 Championship wickets - there is still one match to go - compared to three last year.
“It’s obviously very disappointing from a professional point of view,” added Chapple. “We’ve worked hard all season, and I would stress that the lads have given everything they have. It’s just not been enough, that’s the reality. We haven’t got into winning positions enough. When we have, we haven’t capitalised. A lot of small things make a big difference in outcomes and results, and we’ve only won one game this season.
“I don’t really want to talk about the weather. I don’t want to come out of this looking like I’m making excuses because we’ve still played enough cricket to get points on the board. We’ve made mistakes at bad times, which have cost us.”
Lancashire round off their campaign against Surrey at Liverpool, starting on Tuesday (September 11).
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