Gilchrist takes the reigns at Old Deer Park

First published in Middlesex CCC Your Local Guardian: Photograph of the Author by

Aussie legend Adam Gilchrist will captain Middlesex on his return to Old Deer Park next week after former England Test cricketer Shaun Udal quit on Friday.

The 38-year-old wicketkeeper batsman will take charge for the next six matches - including Tuesday's t20 clash with Glamorgan and 50 over tour match against Australia - before being replaced by Neil Dexter.

Udal, who took charge in September 2008, has overseen a poor start to the campaign for the Panthers which sees them second bottom of LV County Championship Division Two after nine games.

Director of cricket Angus Fraser said: "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. It has affected his bowling too.

"Shaun is an intelligent and articulate man and he feels the team needs a change in leadership."

Gilchrist has not played a competitive game at Richmond since spending a year with the club as a 17-year-old in 1989.

Dexter will take over the reigns on June 26 and Fraser insists he will learn plenty from Gilchrist over the next fortnight.

"It would be foolish for us not to make use of one of the most experienced and respected cricketers the game has produced whilst he is at the club," he added.

"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.

"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.

"Adam’s presence gives Neil a wonderful opportunity to watch and learn from one of the finest and most respected players to play the game."

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