ANGUS FRASER threw his weight behind skipper Shaun Udal this week in the wake of coach Toby Radford’s departure.
Radford left Lord’s on Friday apparently unhappy with his diminishing role in the Panthers’ hierarchy, leaving Director of Cricket Fraser and skipper Udal looking for a third coach in less than three seasons.
It’s precisely this lack of settled leadership which led batsman Nic Compton only last week to say the county could forget winning trophies until at least 2011.
And Middlesex fans are now worried if Udal, out of contract at the end of the season and who’ll be 41 early next spring, goes Fraser will be left searching for a fourth captain in two years as he builds another regime from scratch.
But Fraser, while stopping short of guaranteeing Udal would captain the team again in 2010, appeared to allay those fears calling the former England spinner ‘a pivotal figure moving forward who is very involved in what we are doing in terms of the squad for next year.’
He continued: "With myself coming in there was always going to be a certain amount of assessing the situation and then taking the steps I believe in to get the club moving forward.
"If people in charge are not the right ones then we have to start again, but if they are then we move forward and everything I’ve seen so far of Shaun suggests he is the right sort of man for Middlesex.
"He (Udal) has been very committed, he’s taken 35-40 wickets in all competitions and I’ve enjoyed working with him.
"He’s adventurous and he’s always tried to play attacking cricket to win games - several of his declarations in recent games have proved that."
Meanwhile, Richard Scott has stepped up from the second team into Radford’s shoes for the remainder of the campaign, beginning with Friday’s Championship clash with Northants at Lord’s.
And Fraser indicated the Middlesex stalwart was seen as a good candidate for the job on a longer- term basis.
He added: "We are going to advertise the position of first team coach, but have encouraged Richard (Scott) to apply for the job if he wants it.
"He was happy to make the step up to help us out and he will definitely be with us moving forward in 2010."