Daryl Mitchell, born in Badsey, fewer than 20 miles from New Road, became the first Worcestershire captain born inside the county since Maurice Foster in 1925 when he was appointed to the position full-time at the end of 2010. It was a position he cherished and relinquished reluctantly after six years in charge.
It was the making of him. Not only did Worcestershire recover from a 37-point deficit to Glamorgan to win Championship promotion in 2010 (Mitchell enjoyed his best year to date with 1,180 runs at an average of 42.14), but they defied their small budget and a host of high-profile departures in recent years by avoiding relegation the following season.
They fared less well in 2012 with Mitchell’s form dropping sharply. But, in 2014, Mitchell was prolific in leading his side back to Division One. He amassed more than 1,300 Championship runs, with five centuries, and was named as captain in the PCA’s team of the season. For the first time, there were also suggestions that he might be the man to add a bit of solidity at the top of the England order. Life back in Division One proved harder in 2015. Mitchell made 832 runs, but more than half of them came in four innings and, despite a brave effort, Worcestershire were relegated. He did, however, lead them to the best T20 season to date before defeat in a home quarter-final.
Six seasons as captain proved his lot as Worcestershire, this time unable to return to Division One of the Championship at the first time of asking, appointed Joe Leach as his successor. Mitchell described the news as “devastating” and said it was the most difficult thing he had had to contend with in his professional career, although he conceded that off-the-field issues had affected his leadership at times during the season as well as leaving him well short of 1,000 first-class runs in what by his standards was a disappointing campaign.
A classical opening batsman and useful limited-overs medium-pace seamer, Mitchell made his debut for Worcestershire in 2005. It took until 2008 to gain a regular first team spot, but he repaid the club’s faith with more than 900 runs as the club gained Championship promotion that year and followed with a 1,000 runs in a season for the first time the following year in Division One.
- right-arm, medium
- shirt number
- place of birth
- Badsey, Worcestershire
- date of birth
- 6ft 1in
- bat used weight
- Kookaburra 2.8lb
- colour number
- wccc debut