PETER MOORES has explained the reasons behind the appointment of Paul Horton as Lancashire's vice captain to Glen Chapple ahead of next summer.
At the age of 31, opening batsman Horton will become the first vice captain of the former England coach’s six-year reign at Emirates Old Trafford having captained the side in Chapple’s absence at various stages in 2010 and 2013.
“We just felt it was a chance to get Paul a bit more involved in the discussions we have to try and help him develop his leadership style,” said coach Moores.
“To be a good captain you need exposure. It will be good for Paul to be involved in some of the meetings me and Glen have. It gives him an opportunity.
“Captaincy is about leadership and sometimes making tough decisions, and this gives him more of a chance to tap into Glen’s knowledge. He’s been doing that anyway, but this just makes it more official.
“Vice captains are there to support the captain and be a key player within that dressing room to make sure it stays focused on the task in hand. He is a set of ears for the captain who finds out if there are any issues around. It’s a big role.
“Tactically, Paul is very sound. He’s got a good pedigree having captained sides at all stages of his career. It’s exciting for him and for us.”
Does this move mean that Horton has been earmarked as Lancashire’s next captain when Chapple either retires or relinquishes the role in the future?
“He’s got a great chance, but that doesn’t mean he will be. You can’t say to somebody ‘you’re going to be the next captain of a club like Lancashire. It’s a tough position. You look at some of the captains of this club, and it’s a hard position to earn. Glen played for a long time before he got given that chance.
“We still have a lot of people in that dressing room who will be ambitious to captain Lancashire, which is a great position for us to be in.”
Horton captained Lancashire’s first team four times during 2013, including two of the last three LV= County Championship matches of the season against Leicestershire and Kent.
He enjoyed an excellent end to the summer form wise, scoring three hundreds in the last four matches, including both of those aforementioned fixtures.
And he is relishing his new role.
“I guess if you name someone as vice captain, there’s the potential to make the step up,” said Horton. “I don’t think Glen will go on for another five or six years down the line. There is a view that it might be a stepping stone. But I don’t think this decision is any guarantee of being the next captain.
“The club have made this decision to give me the opportunity to learn under Glen and see how I get on. It’s a job I’m looking forward to, and I’m very proud.
“Every time you do the job (captaincy), it’s an experience. I’m learning and developing, and the opportunity to be vice captain under Glen with involvement in the day to day running of the side means I’m going to learn more about the job. That can only be a good thing. It will be a great learning curve.
“We have plenty of senior players within our squad and side, and they all have a voice. People like Ashwell Prince and Kyle Hogg have a lot of experience. It’s just that I now have a title attached.”