New skipper for Beds as Middlebrook is unveiled

James Middlebrook in action for Northants last season
James Middlebrook in action for Northants last season

Bedfordshire have announced that former Northants and Essex all-rounder James Middlebrook will be their new captain this season.

The 37-year-old, who also played for Yorkshire, was only released by Northants at the end of the last campaign after a career spanning more than 220 first class matches and almost 200 one day games.

First team manager Paul Oakins said: “It’s a massive bit of business for us and with James’ experience, hopefully he can pass on a lot to our young side.”

Middlebrook captained the team for the first time on Sunday as Beds took on Oxfordshire in a 50-over 12-a-side friendly, and saw his team secure a two-wicket victory.

Oxfordshire batted first and made a useful 229 all out, with the pick of the Beds bowlers definitely Ed Wharton, who claimed five for 35.

He was well supported by Colin Griggs, who took two for 24, while Middlebrook also chipped in with a wicket.

In reply, Beds made hard work of it, and were indebted to a superb unbeaten 67 from George Bacon, after they had slumped to 122 for six.

Earlier, the mainstay of the innings had been Sam Johnson, who made 59, while George Thurstance scored a crucial 27 and skipper Middlebrook 20.

Beds start their Unicorns KO Trophy Group 2 campaign on April 26 with a trip to Hertfordshire.