Portsmouth’s title hopes have been dealt a blow by the resignation of skipper James Scott.
The St Helen’s outfit are well-placed in second spot in the Southern Electric Premier League division three table – just behind leaders Havant II – ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Trojans.
But Scott has made the tough decision to step down from the captaincy to devote more time to his new business venture – a delicatessen in Chichester.
While Jamie Mitchell has reluctantly stood in as captain in recent weeks, Dave Henderson is now set to assume command and lead the side for the remainder of the campaign.
And Scott insists it will not upset an impressive run of form.
He said: ‘We have asked Dave to step up as captain and I’m sure he will continue what has been started.
‘Jamie is happy to stay as vice-captain but wasn’t keen on stepping up permanently.
‘Dave is a great guy. He has played at a high level for a long time and he will bring that mature head the boys need.
‘I’ve no doubt he will do a great job.’
While Henderson is more than capable of doing the job and is an experienced figure in a young side, a change in leadership at this stage of the season is far from ideal.
But Scott explained it was not a decision he took lightly, having struggled to find time to fit cricket around his business.
He said: ‘I played in the game against Bournemouth II last week.
‘We had them 60 for six and my mind started wandering.
‘The next thing I knew, the ball was up in the air coming towards me and I dropped it – and I knocked it miles away.
‘I haven’t been able to get to training and I’ve been turning up to games later. I knew something had to give.
‘But I’m gutted to have to step down. I love my cricket and I have dropped everything in my life for cricket in the past.
‘But I’ve invested every penny I’ve got in this, so I have to concentrate on my business at the moment.
‘It was a horrid decision and I had to mull it over for a long time.
‘People were telling me not to do it but I don’t think it’s fair to the club or my business.
‘Hopefully, I can come back in the future at some point – maybe even play towards the end of the season.
‘I wanted to be the captain who lifted the trophy at the end of the season.
‘All of the boys wanted that as well – not for me but because we all want to do it.’
Scott is confident his troops can finish the job in his absence and has targeted the two games against their closest rivals as the vital fixtures in the promotion race.
He said: ‘We’re at the halfway stage and we’re in a nice position.
‘Without being disrespectful to the other teams, the two key games will be against Havant II and South Wilts II.
‘If we win those two games, I’m certain we will get promoted at the very least.’