CRAIG HUGHES has announced he is stepping down as captain after Avoncroft ended a turbulent Worcestershire County League Division Three season with a crushing 186-run defeat to Netherton.
With only ten men available for the game, and skipper Hughes missing, Avoncroft were given a mountain to climb as Netherton declared on 256-5 after 49 overs.
Matthew Lowe (63) top scored while Mohammed Nowaz (53) and Matt Hall (38) chipped in with useful contributions.
In reply, Avoncroft were skittled out for a paltry 70 in the 17th over with the club’s leading run scorer and now retiring David James (30) top scoring.
Daniel Elliot (14) was the only other player to reach double figures for Avoncroft who have ended their season in eighth following six consecutive defeats.
In a season which has been blighted by selection issues, Hughes has called time on his role as captain and believes it’s time for somebody else to bring in some fresh ideas.
He said: “We’ve been struggling to get players to commit all season and that’s one of the reasons behind where we are in the table at the end of the season.
“There’s also been a massive lack of consistency in terms of performance so it’s a very disappointing to finish in the way we have.
“I’m stepping down as captain due to work and family commitments but I will still be continuing as a player.
“I’ve been captain for three years now. It’s been tough but very enjoyable but it’s time for someone else to give it a go and bring in some new ideas.”
With the season now over, Avoncroft have promised a recruitment drive and will be boosted by the returns of those who have been at university.
The club is also hoping to promote players from their second team as they bid to finish much higher in the table next year.
Hughes added: “It’s always our aim to get promotion but if we have consistent player unavailability like we have had this season, it’s unrealistic.
“We’d like to just finish as high up the table as we possibly can.”