Calmore Sports Club are delighted to announce the team captains for the 2023 season with wholesale changes across the board.

Following Mark Lavelle’s decision to stand down after eight years at the helm, the club has moved to appoint three skippers for the first XI for the upcoming campaign – one for each of the competitions.

Succeeding Mark as Club Captain and Saturday First XI captain is Ben Johns.  The 25-year-old will become the 11th appointed captain of the first XI in the Southern League/SPCL era and the ever-present opening batter is a hugely popular choice, having played a remarkable 168 consecutive matches for the team since making his debut in 2013 as a fresh-faced 15-year-old, scoring a staggering 5,474 runs in that time at an average of 38.01 and hitting eight centuries.

In a break from tradition though, the club have moved to appoint different captains for the National Village Knock-Out and the SPCL T20 competitions.

Taking the reigns in the NVKO will be Steve Wright.  The 30-year-old is one player who thrives in this competition as his Lord’s Final appearance in 2021 proved with those incredible figures of 8-6-5-2, bowling from the Pavilion End.  He was one of the leading wicket-takers in the competition in that sensational season and he bowled 35 maidens in his 128 overs bowled – some 27%.  He will bring a wealth of experience and drive as the club target a third successive Lord’s appearance.

The final 1st XI appointment is of 25-year-old Matt Taylor, who will take over the running of the SPCL T20 side.  Matt led the second XI to Hampshire Division 3 South glory in 2022 but has been a regular in the T20 and NVKO sides for a number of years and also led the team in the Tuesday night Border League so this move will give him a foothold into leadership of the first XI.

Club Chairman Pete Lavelle said, “We would, once again , say thank you to Mark for his efforts over the last eight years.  The work he has done went above the role of 1st XI captain which has led to the change in roles to share the load.  Mark has agreed to play a supporting role to all captains if they feel the need to lean on someone and will act as Vice Captain for the 1st XI.”

It is not only in the first XI that the new faces appear – in fact, there is changes in all of the teams.

A whole new challenge awaits the 2nd XI as they embark on their first season in a new division following their promotion to Hampshire Division 2 for 2023.  Taking over the captaincy will be Ryan Lomax, who has been one of their leading all-round performers in the last couple of seasons for the seconds with 258 runs, 25 wickets and 13 catches to his name.

And the 3rd XI will have Sam Dempster at the helm, succeeding Callum Greasley, as they look to bounce back from their disappointing season in 2022.  Sam comes into the role as a regular performer in the threes, in the runs and taking wickets and he is a very popular member of the club who will cajole his oft young charges to success.

The 4th XI will, once again, be captain on an ‘ad-hoc’ basis.

The Border League Tuesday night side will also have a new captain and that is wicket-keeper/batter Jack Austin, who took charge of the team on a number of occasions in 2022.

1st XI & Club Captain – Ben Johns
1st XI NVKO Captain – Steve Wright
1st XI T20 Captain – Matt Taylor
1st XI Vice Captain – Mark Lavelle
2nd XI Captain – Ryan Lomax
3rd XI Captain – Sam Dempster
4th XI Captain – Ad-Hoc
BL Captain – Jack Austin

Good luck to all!