Central Districts will have a change in the leadership department, with Jamie How relinquishing the captaincy this summer.
The Manawatu opening batsman will still be an important member of the side but CD will have a fresh leader this year with all-rounder Kieran Noema-Barnett now calling the shots.
How said at the end of last year he had a chat with coach Alan Hunt and felt it was time for a new voice in the changing room.
"I think it was right for the team after doing it for about seven years," How said.
"A captain's got a life span. I think the timing is right. There's only so much you can do when the guys hear the same kind of things over and over again."
The former Black Cap will be able to focus on improving his first-class average of 35.82.
"It gives me an opportunity to concentrate on my batting a little bit more. It's right for the team in the timing and someone like Kieran Noema-Barnett to take over, I think it's a good timing for both."
The 25-year-old Noema-Barnett is relatively young to be leading the Stags but How felt it would be a welcome change.
"I think Kieran's got some good ideas and I'm certainly looking forward to helping him out."
If he does get stuck, Noema-Barnett will be able to call upon the experienced How, Mathew Sinclair and Kruger van Wyk when he's not with the Black Caps.
Last season, How led the Stags as they won the one-day competition but were fifth in the HRV Cup and second in the Plunket Shield.
"I hope we can defend our one-day title and hopefully push in the other competitions as well," How said. "The team's looking good and hopefully I can contribute."
The domestic season starts for CD on October 28 with their first Plunket Shield game against Wellington in Napier.
How has just returned from an enjoyable off-season in the north of England and now he wants to focus his energy on batting.
Playing for the Kendal Cricket Club in Cumbria in the Northern Premier League, How scored more than 1000 runs and was averaging nearly 90, with four centuries.
"I enjoyed the last two winters overseas playing cricket.
"The captaincy can certainly be a challenge.
"It's been a real challenge to captain CD for a length of time.
"[The team] achieved a lot in that time and I'm looking forward to being a leader with the bat in hand."
How was unsure of how CD's schedules would play out but he was keen to turn out for the Manawatu representative side and even his club side Marist if he could fit it into the programme.
- © Fairfax NZ News