Minor Counties: Shropshire reappoint James Ralph as captain

Shropshire have been forced to choose a new captain for the second time in less than a fortnight.

James Ralph, 38, county skipper from 2007 to 2009, has been reappointed to replace Anthony Parker, who has stood down because of new work commitments.

Parker's first game in charge following Richard Oliver's exit to Worcester was a 260-run defeat by Herefordshire.

  • James Ralph's first game as Shropshire captain was also on his home ground, Bridgnorth, against Berkshire in June 2007. a match they won by three wickets

But he has now landed a new job as assistant groundsman at Molineux with Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.

As a result, Ralph will lead the team again for this Sunday's Minor Counties Championship match against Oxfordshire at his home club, Bridgnorth.

"There is uncertainty over the future availability of Anthony Parker owing to his new job, so therefore the committee have now decided to go for an experienced head to captain the side for the remainder of the season," said Shropshire chairman of selectors Brian Foxall.

"James is a very good cricketer and has done the job before. He's also available for all the games so we feel this is the right decision."

Kidderminster-born Ralph, who began his career with Worcestershire, made his Shropshire debut in 1998, the first of 90 Minor Counties Championship appearances.

Shropshire have started this season's Championship campaign badly, with heavy defeats by Wales and Herefordshire.