Nick Knight hailed the start of "a new era" at Warwickshire as he explained his decision to step down from the captaincy at the end of the season.
His resignation means the club are now searching for a new captain, coach and chief executive, but Knight told The Post the timing of his announcement would enable the new coach and captain to develop a working relationship long before the start of next season.
"When I took it on the captaincy it was on the basis that I'd only do it for two years and I informed Tim Munton in May that, whatever happened, that would still be my decision," Knight said.
"I'm coming towards the end of my career, the captaincy takes a lot of thought and a lot of time and I have to make sure I keep one eye on my future. It is nothing to do with my form with the bat.
"I think the timing is good for the club. It gives everyone a chance to assess the situation and for the coach and captain to start together. That relationship is crucial and if I'd carried on for another year that might have been more difficult."
Knight will continue to perform as a batsman for two more years, but hopes that being relieved of the pressures of captaincy will allow him more time to secure his future after the game, probably in the Sky commentary box.
"That's something I'd like to do much more of, but it's a very competitive world and I can't be categorical about that," he said.
"I haven't discussed my decision with Sky - they haven't told me I have to stop now or anything like that - and it wouldn't be right to say I'm giving up captaincy just so I concentrate on media work. I can't be absolutely sure what I will do in the future."
The announcement was made to the team during the rain break on the start of the third day of the Championship game at Lord's, the timing surprising more than the decision. The immediate effect was remarkable.
Having been outplayed for two days, Warwickshire turned the game on its head, taking the last seven Middlesex wickets for 49 before scoring the highest fourth-innings winning score against the Londoners. Knight, to his team-mates at least, remains an inspiration.
Knight's legacy is far more than a Championship triumph; mightily impressive though that is. With understatement he refers to that success, in his first year as a captain, as "pleasing."
But perhaps his real legacy is his commitment to the development of the team in the longer term. A Greek proverb tells us that "a society grows great when old men plant trees under whose shade they will never sit," and this is what Knight has attempted.
By spurning the opportunity to sign a second overseas player - even in times of crisis - Knight allowed the likes of Naqaash Tahir, James Anyon, Nick Warren, Ian Westwood and Luke Parker to play first team cricket. Most captains would never have tried so hard to plan for the future.
Though several of the young players may not make the grade, the policy is laudable and the club may reap the benefits of those that do over decades.
It would be a terrible waste if they were to renege on the policy.
"I can't fault the club," Knight said. "They've supported my views on overseas players and on bringing through younger players.
"I wanted to get things in place for the long term. I wanted to see players developing and for Warwickshire to be a force for years to come.
"It's been a great dressing room to captain, too. It's full of young players who are keen to learn.
"It's been fascinating and I've been lucky to work with John Inverarity, who has been crucial to the success we've had."
Knight refused to speculate on who he thought should succeed him, instead urging players and supporters to retain focus on the remaining cricket this season.
"The win against Middlesex gives us a chance to finish the season on a high in all forms of cricket," he said. "When I step down my job will be the score runs and support the new captain. That's what I will do.
"I expect I'll be asked my opinion on a successor and I'll be happy to give it. To be honest I haven't really thought about it yet."
The three favourites to succeed Knight next season are Alex Loudon, Mark Wagh and Heath Streak, though the club will also consider bringing in a completely new face.
New Zealander Stephen Fleming (Nottinghamshire), South African Graeme Smith (Somerset) and Australian Shane Warne (Hampshire) all brought much to their county clubs during their stints in charge.
Yet, it would be an ironic twist were the club to replace a man who championed the cause of local players with a foreign import.
Loudon showed last season, when he left Kent and moved to Birmingham despite the carrot of the vice-captaincy, that captaincy is not on his agenda at present.
He will make an excellent leader in time, perhaps even of his country. But for now all parties would be better served by him concentrating on developing his all-round game.
But Wagh is the positive, long-term candidate for the job.
He insists that his knee problems will not restrict him and is the only member of the current team with the combined experience, youth and playing record to take the club forward. He is also keen.
"I'd love to do it," he told The Post. "I'm not worried about my knee; my fitness should be fine.
"It's a huge responsibility and a huge strain, but it's also a fantastic job."
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