With Cummins signing a Kolpak deal, he has ruled himself out of contention to play for the West Indies AFP

After two prolific years leading Middlesex in the County Championship, Dawid Malan has stepped down from his position as the team's captain. The southpaw, who also played Test cricket for England, started his leadership role in February 2018 and led them to an impressive fourth position finish in the second division. However, in his second season as captain, a deflating 8th position finish in the county championship kept Middlesex from a promotion to the first division, which Malan termed as "extremely disappointing".

"Middlesex played some fantastic cricket during the 2019 season, reaching the knockout stages of both white-ball competitions - achievements of which we can be proud. However, our form in the second division of the Championship was inconsistent. I have therefore decided to step down as captain and to allow someone else the opportunity to work with the coaching staff to readjust and hopefully guide the team back towards the top of the first division." said Malan in a statement at a season-capping event.

Middlesex's managing director of cricket, Angus Fraser, had words of high praise for Malan, who has been with the county since 2006, and has signed a contract until 2021, which extends his loyal tenure at Middlesex to 15 years,

"Dawid has shown great pride and dignity in the way he has handled a difficult season and he leaves the role knowing he has given it all he can. As a batsman the captaincy seems to have got the best out of him and he has had an excellent season. He has been our best player in testing batting conditions. Dawid has thrown his heart and soul into the role of club captain for the past two years, and on behalf of Middlesex Cricket, I would like to thank him for that."

The county also announced at the event that Miguel Cummins, who had a short stint at the end of the County Championship, has signed a 3-year Kolpak deal with Middlesex after impressing in his brief spell. He has become the latest overseas signing after a host of foreign players gave up representing their nation due to remuneration-related issues, and signed more lucrative Kolpak deals.

The current coach of Middlesex, Stuart Law, has seen Cummins up close, during the former's stint as the West Indies coach and convinced Fraser to give him a go.

"I had watched Miguel on video, but it is often only when you see someone play live that you get a true reflection of their capabilities. I was immediately impressed by Miguel. He has control, is able to move the ball away from a right-handed batsman and, I believe, the ability to bowl fast, aggressive spells when conditions dictate."

With an abundance of seaming wickets in England, Cummins' hit-the-deck approach and his ability to land the ball on the seam makes him a prized asset for Middlesex, across formats, in the years to come, as the county searches for a new leader to utilize his abilities.