Cricket: Watkinson to succeed Fairbrother

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The Independent Online
LANCASHIRE'S summer of discontent took on a wintry air yesterday when Neil Fairbrother resigned as captain after two troublesome years in office, this less than a month after the resignation of David Hughes, the first XI manager, writes Rob Steen.

Mike Watkinson, the club's long-serving all-rounder, will succeed Fairbrother. His appointment, however, is not expected to alleviate a situation that prompted disgruntled members to mount a rebellion last month in response to another season of under-achievement that saw the country's best-supported club finish 14th in the Championship and lose in the first round of the NatWest Trophy. When Watkinson's name was first mooted, two senior colleagues threatened to refuse to play under him.

Fairbrother, who made his highest Test score in India last winter but then finished 92nd in the first-class batting averages, had been granted time to consider his future but evidently concluded that the captaincy was having an adverse effect on his form.

His letter of resignation was accepted at a committee meeting last night during which he was thanked for his services and Watkinson confirmed in his stead.

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