Dawid Malan insists Middlesex players, and not coaches, will dictate their new approach to T20 cricket as they look to end their poor form in the competition.
Middlesex have been knocked out at the group stage in each of the last seven years and open this season’s T20 Blast campaign on Friday against Hampshire at Uxbridge.
Newly appointed T20 captain Malan revealed the players held a pre-season team meeting – with all support staff locked out – to address the disappointing limited-overs displays.
He said: “We’ve decided what brand of cricket we want to play. We discussed that as a group, without coaches and without any management around.
“We, as players, are going to work out the direction we want to go and hopefully everyone buys into that.
“It’s obviously going to be a big ask to try and improve us – since 2008 we’ve been pretty poor. I think we as a club know that.
“The massive thing is about improving the culture of white-ball cricket at Middlesex.”
The arrival of Brendan McCullum – one of the most explosive shot-makers in T20 cricket – has grabbed the attention, while Middlesex have also bolstered their attack with Gloucestershire paceman James Fuller.
But, while one or two players can win a T20 match on their own, Malan believes everyone has to chip in if Middlesex are to make an impact in the tournament.
“We can’t rely on McCullum, or [Eoin] Morgan, or [Steven] Finn or [Mitchell] McClenaghan every year. The other players in the team have to put their hands up,” he said.
“The guys are finding the time to work on their white-ball skills in the lead up to the tournament so hopefully when the time comes we can hit the ground running.”
Malan will have no shortage of experience to tap into, with England’s T20 captain Morgan, former New Zealand skipper McCullum and James Franklin – who will lead the team in 50-over games – alongside him.
But the 28-year-old insists he alone will set the tone and the gameplan.
He said: “With Morgy, McCullum and Frankie around, there’s guys I can feed off.
“But ultimately it’s my ideas, and it’s going to be my stamp and my authority on it.”