Middlesex has picked Toby Roland-Jones as its red-ball captain

Middlesex will be led by Toby Roland-Jones in the County Championship

Tim Murtagh’s replacement as Middlesex’s red-ball captain is former England seamer Toby Roland-Jones.

Roland-Jones, 35, will begin his 14th season with the team after making his debut in 2010. He has made 122 appearances during that time and collected 453 first-class wickets. 

Middlesex will have him as their captain when they return to the County Championship’s first division after being promoted in 2022.

He replaces Tim Murtagh, who took over when Peter Handscomb, Middlesex’s intended captain for 2022, left for Australia due to family obligations after leading his team to an undefeated start to the season. Murtagh, 41, is still a member of the playing staff but has taken on a new player-coaching position for the 2023 campaign.

“Tim and Pete did exceptional jobs last season in leading us back up into Division One of the Championship,”

Richard Johnson, Middlesex’s head coach, said.

“With Tim’s superb record as captain, when we’ve won or drawn 75% of the games he’s captained over the last two seasons, it would have been very easy for us to have asked him to skipper the side again this year.

“That said, with him now moving into a player/coaching role this year, we’ve made the tough decision to give the captaincy to another senior playing member of the group. I would however like to go on record in thanking Murts for all he has done for the side, and he can rightly be extremely proud of his record as captain.

“In Toby, we have someone who is highly respected in the dressing room and is a natural born leader. He is hugely competitive, plays with passion and aggression, and wears his heart on his sleeve. He is extremely proud to wear the three Seaxes on his chest and is a role model to all who play with him. I can’t think of a more obvious successor to Murts for the captaincy role of our Championship side than Toby.

“Our return to the top-flight this year will throw some challenges our way no doubt, however I am confident that with the experience Toby has at this level, he will be well placed to handle the pressures that Division One cricket will present.”

After leading from the front with 1,089 runs in both formats last season, four List-A centuries, including a career-best 182, and an average of 94.00 in the Royal London One-Day Cup, Stephen Eskinazi has been retained as Middlesex’s white-ball captain for 2023.

“Last season, and for the previous couple of years before that, Eski has not only been the stand-out player in Middlesex’s dressing room, but he’s been one of the best white-ball operators in the country,”

Johnson said.

“As a player, he leads from the front and by example. He sets the standard for all others to follow. As a leader and as a captain, he is highly respected by the group, is very calm under pressure, and knows the white-ball game inside out.”