David Cook is set to take over the captaincy of the Kópavogur Puffins team in 2021, as Abhi Chauhan stepped down after six seasons in the post.
Having led the Puffins on no fewer than 41 occasions, Chauhan wishes to spend more time on his business activities. “I’ve opened a take-away restaurant,” he said. “And bread is more important than cricket. I’m going to need at least a year to set it up.” He was positive about Cook’s potential. “David’s a great leader. I know he’ll play with the Kópavogur spirit.”
Cook has captaincy experience. As well as having skippered Harberton in England a dozen years ago, he was appointed as an ‘on-loan’ captain by Reykjavík in the 2019 Summer Solstice Sixes and unexpectedly took them to the title with a 100% victorious record. Although he made his Icelandic debut for Reykjavík in 2015, he moved to Kópavogur the following year and, that brief six-a-side sojourn with the Vikings aside, has been loyal to the Puffins ever since. He has played 60 times in Icelandic cricket, taking 60 wickets at an average of 19.37, including 28 wickets for Iceland.
Perhaps his most celebrated moment, though, came with the bat. In 2015, during one of his early matches for the national side, he was promoted as makeshift opener and scored a surprise 118. He has already conceived a plan to return to the top of the order now that he is captain.
“It looks like we may be without the services of a couple of key batsmen this year,” said Cook. “I may have to fulfil the anchor role, and we’ll look to win low-scoring matches with our bowling attack.” Cook and Chauhan are known to spend hours planning their tournament strategy, and this year appears to be no exception. “We’ve identified 17 players we want in our squad, and we’ve worked out the order in which we’ll bid for them. I hope we get at least 90 per cent of them,” said the new captain.
Kópavogur Cricket Club was Chauhan’s brainchild, and was formed in 2015. They have six titles to their name. They won the Volcanic Ashes in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2020; the latter victory, plus the Íslensk Premier League and the Sixty Ball Shootout, comprised an unprecedented season treble last year. Nolan Williams and Chamley Fernando captained the team in the 2019 and 2020 Volcanic Ashes series respectively, but Chauhan has held the reins in every other Kópavogur match. Cook thus becomes the Puffins’ fourth captain.
Chauhan spoke a little about the future. “We are looking at grooming Sebastiaan Dreyer for the captaincy in the next few years,” he said. “We want to teach him everything we know. Bringing him on is a top priority.”
And what of Chauhan’s own ambitions? He is, after all, the most experienced captain in Iceland, but he has never led the national team. “I would like to do it, if I get an opportunity in the future,” he admitted. “I have a few more years under my belt.”
The player auction for the 2021 domestic season will be live-blogged on this website from 1400 UTC on Saturday 9 January. Full details of the auction will be published this Friday.
The official Kópavogur captains and their records
2015—2019 AR Chauhan
NL Williams P5 W2 L3
2020 CTB Fernando P5 W2 L3
AR Chauhan P41 W24 L16 A1