Worcester Park opener Rob Waite is enjoying his cricket again without the burden of wearing the proverbial captain’s armband.
The right-hander stepped down as skipper over the winter after three seasons in charge.
His reign included a nail-biting shot at promotion out of Division Two of the Surrey Championship.
However, defeat on the final day ended the dream and, after a fourth place finish last tern, Waite handed over the reins to Joe Hill.
Waite said: “Joe was ready to make the step up, and he’s done fantastically well since then.
“You can tell he plays football in the winter because he comes out with all his football speak during training.
“But he’s really taken on the challenge.”
He added: “When I was captain, we came close in 2012, and so it could have been very different.
“But we’d all been playing together for a long time, and missed out narrowly a couple of times, so it was time for a change of scenery really.”
When Waite took over the skipper’s role, he was averaging 40.71, but that had fallen to 29.85 at the end of his stint.
Now he looking to build it up again.
“It has taken me some time to get used to playing without constantly thinking of ways to play, fielding positions and how best to take the win, but I am getting there and the runs are coming again,” he said.
“It is also nice not to have to do all the things off the field, such as organising training, getting the team together, sorting out replacements and liaising with other captains.”
Waite hit 88 in Park’s losing draw at home to Dulwich, in a game affected by the rain.
Park carded 195-4dec, and Dulwich ticked off the target inside 35 overs, leaving Park in mid-table.
Waite said: “The league is very tight right now, so a few wins could make all the difference. But it has been a frustrating season so far with all the rain we’ve had.
“We’ve not been able to get any momentum going, in fact I don’t think we’ve had more than two games in a row where we’ve not been affected by the weather.”