Steven Croft replaces Tom Smith as Lancashire captain

Steven Croft
Steven Croft captained Lancashire to T20 Blast success and Division Two promotion last season

Lancashire have appointed Steven Croft as their captain for next season after Tom Smith stepped down from the role to continue his recovery from injury.

Smith, 29, succeeded Glen Chapple as captain of the Red Rose last year but only skippered the side once before suffering a back injury.

Croft, 31, stood in during his absence and takes over on a permanent basis.

"This has been an incredibly tough decision for Tom to make," said cricket director Ashley Giles.

He told BBC Radio Lancashire: "Tom's experience will be crucial to Steven and he will very much remain a key member of our leadership team.

"I'd also like to congratulate Steven on his appointment - he showed great maturity in what was a successful season for Lancashire."

Spinner Simon Kerrigan meanwhile will continue a period of rest and rehabilitation into the new year after suffering a back injury towards the end of last season.