‘OPENER, leader, ambassador, gentleman, legend’ – Worcester sports editor Rob George pays tribute to Daryl Mitchell.
THE word ‘legend’ is over-used in modern times but I doubt you would find a Pears fan who would object to it being applied in Daryl’s case.
A young man, thrown into the captaincy limelight of a county with a rich history during a somewhat troubled period for the Pears, Mitchell handled everything with dignity and maturity.
Two promotions and visits to the quarter-finals of the T20 Blast are the highlights of a captaincy CV which saw Mitchell combine leading in the field with opening the batting, not the easiest task for any cricketer.
Yet the stats show the Badsey boy was able to switch off from captaincy and onto batting, more often than not with very few prolonged runs of low scores.
He was respected not just by team-mates but across the county circuit.
Former England bowler Darren Gough, current star Sam Billings and World Cup winner Heather Knight are just some of the professionals who have paid tribute to ‘Mitch’.
His sacking as skipper in 2016 by former director of cricket Steve Rhodes was unnecessary brutal in my view, the hurt felt by Mitchell was clear to see in the open letter he shared.
Again though, Mitchell’s maturity came to the fore as chairman of the Professional Cricketers Association (PCA) and the opener has been at the forefront of much of the focus on player welfare in recent years.
On September 21, he’ll take to the field for the final time as a Pear. Worcestershire’s loss is the PCA’s gain.
Thank you Daryl, you will be missed.