Smith loses Durham captaincy
Mustard handed reins after slow start to the season
Last Updated: 14/05/10 3:16pm
Stepped aside: Smith
County champions Durham have installed Phil Mustard as captain after Will Smith stepped down from the role by "mutual agreement".
"I'm honoured to have been offered the role of captain at the club where I came up through the academy and have spent the whole of my professional career. I'm confident that with the help and support of my senior, experienced, team mates we'll go from strength to strength."
Phil Mustard Quotes of the week
Smith led the north-east county to the title last season, their second in a row, in his first year in charge after taking over from Dale Benkenstein.
The change has come just a day after they suffered their first championship defeat since August 2008, a thumping innings and 62-run reverse against Division One pacesetters Nottinghamshire.
Smith, 27, has also struggled with the bat, averaging 16.28 at number three as Durham have won just one of their first four matches in the County Championship this season.
"I am disappointed that things have not worked out as captain," he said in a statement.
"I will remain fully committed to ensuring that the club continue to prosper under Phil's guidance.
"He will add great spirit and character to the role and it is fitting that a north-east lad is entrusted with it."
Head coach Geoff Cook believes the appointment of wicketkeeper Mustard, who has made 10 one-day international appearances for England, could serve to turn their poor start around.
"I'm delighted that Phil has accepted the role," said Cook.
"This adjustment is an opportune time for us to kick start our season while at the same time giving Phil the chance to move his career up to the next stage."
On his new job, Mustard, 27, said: "I'm honoured to have been offered the role of captain at the club where I came up through the academy and have spent the whole of my professional career.
"I'm confident that with the help and support of my senior, experienced, team mates we'll go from strength to strength."