Dan Laming surveys his options as captain of Celtic, and now takes on the South Canterbury role.

The new South Canterbury cricket captain would not mind recreating some memories of his debut season.

Dan Laming has taken charge of the team which begins its quest to claim the Hawke Cup, today, against North Otago, at Aorangi Oval. Ironically, the team last won the cup in the 1999-2000 season, the exact time when Laming was called up to representative duty.

The No4 batsman will take over from Todd Elliotte, who retired from representative cricket at the end of last season, with more than 100 appearances for the “green and blacks”.

Laming said it was exciting to be given the role. “It’s a bit of an honour I guess, especially since I’ve played ever since we won [the Hawke Cup], that was my first season, and obviously Todd has been captain ever since.

“It’s a privilege, especially since I knew we had a good keen team coming through.”

Laming said he would like to think he was a “slightly more attacking” captain, than his predecessor. He described his form last season as “terrible”, with only a rollicking 162, late in the season, saving his blushes, and his batting average.

The former Celtic captain seemed to have put his poor form behind him however, as he has notched up four half-centuries, in all forms of the game, already this season.

“It [the form slump] is just something every player goes through, just for me, it seemed to last most of the season.

“It’s not even an innings, it’s a few good shots in your first innings, and it all comes back to you.

“Form’s a pretty temporary thing.”

He said the warm-up win over North Otago a fortnight ago proved the team could match-it with the current Hawke Cup holders.

“They’re a good side with ex-Black Cap David Sewell, and a few former Otago guys.

“They’re a pretty well-balanced side, I guess that’s why they have the Hawke Cup.”

Laming said the strong South Canterbury squad was creating competition for places, something the team had not seen for a long time.

Five of his Celtic teammates will accompany Laming today, something he felt made his captaincy easier out in the field.

“Knowing what part-timers can do – like Jeremy Liddy and Craig Davies – is good, knowing they can tie up an end makes it easier.

“Slow bowlers are the secret, especially in the second innings, with the ball not coming on.

“You just have to create pressure, and that will create the wickets, because it’s hard to nick people out there.”

Laming said the whole team was confident they could win the Hawke Cup later in the season.

“It’s the best opportunity we’ve had in a long time, especially with the Hawke Cup being in our zone, meaning we don’t even have to win our zone,” he said. “We’re confident all right.”

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