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Sawston & Babraham all-rounder Callum Guest is relishing the challenge of becoming Cambridgeshire CC captain

New Cambridgeshire CC captain Callum Guest. Picture: Keith Heppell
New Cambridgeshire CC captain Callum Guest. Picture: Keith Heppell

Callum Guest is looking to make his mark as a new era for Cambridgeshire beckons.

The Sawston & Babraham batsman was handed the captaincy of the county’s white-ball teams following James Williams’ retirement after a 17-year career.

Sam Rippington will take charge of the red-ball side, the longer form of the game, after Cambridgeshire made the decision to split the captaincy.

Guest, who was the county’s player of the year in 2018, said “it was a brilliant feeling” to be offered the role and is already thinking of how his side will shape up.

“We might go to a more of a fast-paced bowling approach and go in with a load of big-hitting all-rounders in the middle order.

“That’s the way I would like to approach the one-day and T20.”

Cambs have recently opted for a spin-heavy side, finishing second in their T20 group and reaching the quarter-finals of the 50-over trophy last season.

But with the departure of high profile spinners such as Rob Sayer and Paul McMahon in 2018, and the arrival of former Derbyshire seamer Wayne White, Guest is planning a new strategy.

“You’ve got to stick to your own philosophies as well,” he said.

“I think having a clear plan is obviously going to be key and as long as I can get that across in the right manner to the players, hopefully they can then execute the skills.

“I’m going to have the luxury this year of playing with blokes that have played first-class cricket for a number of years.

“Going to them for ideas and seeing what ways some of the captains they’ve played under have done it is great.”

Absorbing information is something Guest has become accustomed to of late whilst plying his trade in Melbourne, Australia, for the winter.

“I’m currently being captained by an ex-Sri Lanka Test cricketer, so I’m trying to pick up as much information as I can.”

This season, each national county has been awarded a match against a first-class county.

Cambridgeshire will take on County Championship and T20 Blast champions Essex in a 50-over match at Saffron Walden CC on July 17.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for the lads,” Guest explains.

“Hopefully, as a county, ,we can get a good turnout. Although it is a friendly on paper, for us I think we have to take it seriously.

“It’s almost like a shop window. If you’re young enough and hungry enough and do well in a game against Essex it could push you on to bigger and better things.”

The county’s last white-ball success came back in 2003 when they won the knockout 50-over trophy for the second time in their history.

Leading the side to a well overdue piece of silverware would be fulfilling to many across the county according to Guest, who also paid recognition to his predecessor.

“It would mean a lot. It would mean a lot to the county as well.

“There’s a lot of people who work behind the scenes that put a lot of time and effort into Cambridgeshire cricket, so it would be more rewarding for them.

“And another shout out to Willo (James Williams).

“It would be a fantastic achievement for him as well and the work he put in for a number of years to get some of these lads into a position where they’re confident enough to hopefully win trophies for Cambridgeshire.”

Guest’s first competitive match as captain is Cambs’ opening fixture of the 2020 season, a T20 doubleheader against Northumberland in the NCCA Twenty20, Group 1, at Peterborough Town CC on April 26.

Listen to Callum Guest on Cambridge 105 Radio’s cricket podcast, From The Pavilion.

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