Chris Dent has made the decision to step down as club captain of Gloucestershire Cricket after four years in the role.
The 30-year-old top-order batter succeeded Gareth Roderick as the Club’s captain in 2018 under the management of Richard Dawson and led the team in 45 first-class matches and 20 List-A matches.
Dent said: “I have decided that the time is right for me to step down as Club captain, it’s been a real honour to captain the Club and it is something I will look back on with real pride. It has been a tough decision that I have been thinking about for a few months now, but I think it is the right decision for myself and the Club.
“My aim when I took over the captaincy was to do all I can to help the team and the Club progress and I am really proud of what we have achieved in the last four years. It has truly been a team effort, from the squad and coaching staff to everyone in the main office and behind the scenes. The help and guidance I have had from everyone at the Club has made my job so much easier.
“Finally, I would like to say a huge thank you to all the players; I feel so lucky to have captained such a great bunch of guys.”
The crowning achievement of his four-year spell as Club captain was promotion from Division Two in 2019 back to the premier division of first-class cricket in England for the first time since 2004.
The season prior, Dent’s first as captain, Gloucestershire finished in the top five in Division Two for the first time since 2011.
This year, Dent led Gloucestershire to seven County Championship wins as captain – the most first-class wins in a season since Mark Alleyne captained The Shire to 11 victories in 1998.
In the last 50 years, only Club legend Jack Russell has had a better winning percentage as first-class captain than Dent, who has led The Shire to victory on 17 of 45 occasions. With a 37.8% winning record, Dent has the seventh best win rate as captain in the history of Gloucestershire Cricket (min. 10 matches).
Dent has also led the team in List A cricket since 2018, winning 11 of 20 matches and qualifying for the quarter-finals of the 2021 Royal London Cup.
Interim Head Coach, Ian Harvey said: “On behalf of the coaching staff and the playing squad, I’d like to thank Chris for his service as Club captain of Gloucestershire Cricket. His record as captain is hugely impressive. Since taking the role, Denty has dedicated his time to bettering the team, prioritising every member of the squad ahead of himself.
“Chris will continue to be a leader in the dressing room and a role model to the younger players coming through. The Club are fortunate to have such a quality top-order batter and brilliant fielder so committed to the team and the search for trophies.”
Gloucestershire Cricket CEO, Will Brown said: “Chris has not only been a superb leader on the pitch but an inspirational one-off it and we are all very grateful for the success he has driven during his time as captain.
“In particular, his work on the culture that the team play and train under has been hugely impactful and we’re delighted that he will continue to lead in this area as he moves away from the on-field captaincy.”
Dent will now have the opportunity to focus his full attention on his cricketing skills as he continues to prove himself as one of the elite first-class batters in the country.
With 9,689 first-class runs at an average of 37.40, including 18 centuries and 58 half-centuries, Dent has established himself as one of the most reliable opening batters on the county circuit.
Since returning to T20 action in 2020, Dent has also showcased his explosive power after three seasons out of the format, scoring 612 runs at an average of 30.6. Only Ian Cockbain has scored more T20 runs for Gloucestershire in that time with 645.
The Club will appoint a new captain once the Head Coach role has been filled. In the meantime, County Championship vice-captain James Bracey will lead the team in the final match of the season against Durham.