Bury St Edmunds vice-captain Justin Bishop reflects on his time as Suffolk skipper as a huge honour with many fond memories.
The 32-year-old stepped down as captain of Suffolk County Cricket Club last week following their final three-day championship match of the season.
After drawing with Hertfordshire, Bishop announced that his five-and-a-half year spell as county captain was at its conclusion.
“I have decided to step down as Suffolk captain for a number of reasons,” said Bishop.
“Firstly, I would like to say how proud I have been captaining Suffolk. It has been a huge honour for me and my family.”
The Bury St Edmunds-born cricketer took over the captaincy from Phil Caley in February 2009.
“I have many fond memories from the last six years. We’ve been very competitive over the past two seasons and at the same time have blooded in many young Suffolk players,” said the former Durham MCCU and England Under-19s all-rounder.
“I believe this is down to the work that coach Bobby Flack and his team had done with the young players in the age groups before he started to help the senior team.
“The group we possess have a really good work ethic and desire to improve.”
Bishop made his Suffolk debut back in August 2005 after being released by Essex and was a member of the side that won the Eastern Division and shared the overall title with Cheshire later that year.
“The reason that I am standing down is that I am now 32 and have played the longer format of the game since I was 16,” said Bishop.
“This is inevitably beginning to take its toll on the body and my recovery from captaining and playing three days in a row is beginning to take days rather than hours!“
In 49 Minor Counties Championship matches, the left-hander scored 1,473 runs in 72 innings, while his left-arm medium-fast bowling style helping him notch up 140 wickets.
“I am not retiring from Suffolk cricket and hopefully will continue to play my part in one-day cricket if selected.”