Lancashire name Keaton Jennings captain after Dane Vilas steps down

London [UK], January 25 (ANI): Lancashire Cricket announced the appointment of Keaton Jennings as the Club’s new men’s captain as Dane Vilas stands down from the role which he has held for the last four seasons.

Jennings, who has also signed a one-year contract extension to remain with Lancashire Cricket until the end of the 2025 season, becomes the 37th men’s captain of the Red Rose. The 30-year-old joined the Club from Durham in 2018 and has since made 131 appearances in all three formats and stood in for the injured Vilas as captain of the One-Day Cup side last season – leading Lancashire to the final.

Jennings was the leading run-scorer in the last County Championship Division One with 1,233 at an average of 72 – including a career-best 318 against Somerset in Southport. His exceptional form at the top of the order led to a recall into England’s Test match squad for the tour of Pakistan after previously making 17 Test appearances between 2016 and 2019.

Speaking about his appointment as Men’s Captain, Keaton Jennings said, “I am so proud and honoured to have been offered the opportunity to become the next captain of Lancashire Cricket – a Club which I have made my home since arriving at Emirates Old Trafford back in 2018.”
“Ever since joining, I have been fully aware of how proud this Club is of its history and the passion that our Members, supporters, players, and staff all share for the Red Rose.

I am extremely proud to be leading this Club into a new chapter and I hope that we are able to create more history together. On behalf of the entire squad, I would like to thank Dane for his commitment to the job and the backing which he has shown to each of us during his four seasons as captain. He has been a massive part of my development as a leader, and I know that I will still be able to call on his experience in the dressing room,” he added as quoted by Lancashire cricket.

The appointment of Jennings as captain follows Vilas stepping down from a role which he has served with distinction, both on and off the field. After being appointed as Liam Livingstone’s successor ahead of the 2019 season, Vilas led Lancashire back into Division One of the County Championship for the first time of asking.

The 37-year-old South African, who joined the Club in 2017, has since captained the Red Rose to two second-place finishes in the County Championship and two appearances at Vitality Blast Finals Day. Vilas will continue to play throughout the 2023 campaign as one of Lancashire’s overseas players. Dane Vilas commented, “After taking some time out during the winter and having conversations with senior management at the Club, I have decided to stand down as captain of Lancashire Cricket.

It has been an honour and a privilege to lead this great county for the past four seasons, but I feel that the time is now right to step back from the role and allow Keaton to build on the superb job which he started during last season’s One-Day Cup. I have always put the team’s best interests first and now I am excited to continue representing the Red Rose and helping to put in performances which can allow this side to continue our challenge for silverware. I look forward to supporting Keaton, my teammates and the coaching staff however I can.”

Lancashire Men’s Head Coach, Glen Chapple, added, “Firstly, I would like to thank Dane for captaining the Club with pride and dedication during the last four seasons. As a coaching team, we fully support his decision and feel it is a true testament to Dane’s character that he has made the selfless decision to step down with the team’s best interests at the forefront of his mind. We look forward to continuing to work with Dane as one of our senior players.

I am delighted that Keaton has accepted our offer to become the new Club captain and we are all confident that he will do an excellent job. Keaton displayed his leadership qualities during last summer’s run to the One-Day Cup final, he has the full respect of the dressing room, and this now feels like a natural next step at the current stage of his career.”

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