GORDON Drummond last night announced he is to stand down as Saltires captain and his successor is likely to be his Carlton team-mate, the South African-born batsman Preston Mommsen.
The 33-year-old Carlton all-rounder said the decision, which comes just three days before the new season, was one of the toughest of his career. However, he will continue to be available for selection and yesterday took part in two T20 clashes with Durham. He is also likely to feature in Sunday’s YB40 opener against Hampshire.
Drummond said: “I’m not an emotional guy, but the past couple of days have definitely got to me. It was a hard, hard decision to make because captaining your country is the pinnacle. I’ve been extremely proud to lead Scotland at an important time for cricket in this country, but the time is right to go.
“It is getting harder all the time to combine having a full-time job [he is a sports development officer with Edinburgh City Council] with playing international cricket – never mind being captain. I’m one of the few left who is not a full-time cricketer and I think the captain needs to be around the guys all the time.”
Drummond was tempted to wait until after this summer’s high-profile ODIs against Pakistan and Australia. He might also have stayed in the role until after the latest World Cup qualifying campaign later in the year.
However, he added: “Going now will give the new man valuable experience in the YB40 which is a pressurised situation. From a personal point of view it would have been nice to stay on and there was a temptation, but Scottish cricket has to move forward.
“I believe my decision will help that process while allowing me to concentrate on trying to earn my place in the team. That will be hard enough.”
Drummond replaced Gavin Hamilton at the helm three years ago, since when he has led the team on 66 occasions.
His win percentage of almost 38 per cent is better than any player who captained the side more than ten times. “Stats don’t mean that much to me, but it’s nice to have a decent record and I like to think I helped some of the guys get the best out of themselves.”
Pete Steindl, Scotland’s head coach, said: “Gordon has led his country with distinction on every occasion he has captained Scotland. He has been a fantastic role model and excellent leader, working tirelessly to create an effective environment during a time of change.
“Much of this work has been done selflessly and behind the scenes in a manner that has always matched his philosophy that the team always comes first.
“I am pleased that Gordon has decided to play on as he will continue to have a positive influence in the dressing room.”