BEING an Ashes summer, Rob Holgate’s description of Geoff Earle and his reasons for his recent resignation as Lostock captain are quite apt.

“Geoff stepped down, with his reasons being that he’s done it for a long time now and there’s quite a lot of young lads who want, and are good enough, to play first-team cricket,” explained Holgate, who took over the role late last month.

“He felt it was the right time to step down and has put the club’s needs first.

“I think he still enjoyed the role, but over the last couple of years he’s captained and batted himself 10 or 11 and doesn’t bowl. He’s been in the team as Mike Brierley really!”

In 1981, Brierley was brought back into England’s team midway through a home series against Australia effectively as a specialist captain following Ian Botham’s resignation, and the hosts came from 1-0 down to win the series.

Holgate continued: “There’s some young lads available week in and out who are first-team quality, and Geoff was dropping out of the team early on in the season, and I captained a few games. So he’s decided he didn’t want to keep anyone out of the team.

“He’s done seven or eight years as captain, which he felt was long enough.

“I’ve been vice captain for the last four years, and I’ve always done it if Geoff’s ever been injured or unavailable. It was the natural progression really for me to take it on full time.

Earle resigned after last month’s Hamer Cup first-round defeat against Atherton, so Holgate has overseen a Premiership league defeat at home to Farnworth and a win away at Little Lever.

Saturday’s home clash – midway through Lostock Beer Festival at Chew Moor Lane – with Adlington was rained off.

“I do enjoy doing it,” he said, before laughing at the question if Earle is Brierley, who is he compared to?

“I’ve no idea! I’m still working out what I need to do, so I don’t want to start comparing myself to anyone.

“I bat middle order and bowl, and balancing when to bowl myself is the hardest part. I can be quite reluctant at times, but we’re expecting Connor Hicklin to be the next vice captain. He opens the batting, but he’s been injured for the last few weeks.

“It might be him who says, ‘Bring yourself on here or take yourself off’.”

Lostock have now won two, lost two and had one No Result.

Early on in the season, Earle spoke about how the club were hoping to better successive eighth-placed finishes in the top flight this summer, while adding a good cup run.

Holgate’s aims are extremely similar.

“We came close in the T20 last season, losing in the final, and it would be nice to go one better in that,” he added.

“We’d won two from two before Friday’s washout against Bradshaw.

“In the league, if we can push towards a top-half finish, that would be success.”