YOUNG all-rounder Brett D’Oliveira will lead Worcestershire for the next Specsavers County Championship matches, the club have revealed.
He will take charge initially for the clash with Lancashire, which starts today (Wednesday), and the clashes with Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge, starting June 25, and the home clash with Somerset later next month at which point the role will be reviewed.
His appointment means the 26-year-old will follow in the footsteps of his grandfather Basil D’Oliveira who skippered the Pears for three games in the early 1970s.
D’Oliveira will lead the side in four-day cricket in the absence of skipper Joe Leach who will miss the rest of the season with a stress fracture of the back.
The all-rounder has endured a challenging start to the Championship season with a number of low scores but showed his maturity with a 140-run partnership in 24 overs with Ben Cox in Sunday’s dramatic Royal London One Day Cup semi-final defeat against Kent. The score was a Worcestershire record for the fifth wicket in one-day cricket.
D’Oliveira enjoyed a productive winter in the Caribbean and starred with the bat as the North team beat the South side in a series of games set up by the ECB to promote upcoming English talent.
“I think every player who plays the game wants to test themselves at the highest level and that’s certainly my goal but my focus will always be to win games of cricket for Worcester,” he said.
The relaxed all-rounder admitted he feels no pressure baring the famous surname and highlighted the support from team-mates and coaches at New Road.
“I’m very proud of where I come from and being part of the journey and hopefully I can keep up the reputation of the family name,” he added.
Head coach Kevin Sharp has been a keen supporter of the young all-rounder and said: “Brett will be appointed for the next three Championship games and then we will go from there.
“Initially the appointment will be for three Championship games, the next three, and then we need to assess where players are and what they are doing.
“He will be honoured and privileged by this and I’m sure he will do a very good job for us.
“It could have been two or three players but he is a lad who is really maturing in terms of character and is highly respected within the dressing room.”
No decision has been made on who will lead the Rapids in the Vitality Blast which kicks off early next month.
“We wanted to keep the Championship captaincy amongst our own, the lads who have grown up within the club and that’s what we are going to do for this next block of games,” Sharp said.
“Then we will re-assess where we are at after this next block. We don’t have to rush into things.”