Jennings, who has signed a one-year contract extension to remain with Lancashire until at least the end of the 2025 season, was the leading run-scorer in Division One last year with 1233 runs at an average of 72, including a career-best 318 against Somerset in Southport. His form led to an England Test recall and he spent plenty of time on the field as a substitute fielder during the 3-0 whitewashing of Pakistan before Christmas.
He previously stood in for the injured Vilas as captain during last season’s Royal London Cup run, which saw Lancashire beaten in the final by Kent.
“I am so proud and honoured to have been offered the opportunity to become the next captain of Lancashire – a club which I have made my home since arriving at Emirates Old Trafford back in 2018,” Jennings said.
“Ever since joining, I have been fully aware of how proud this club is of its history and the passion which our members, supporters, players, and staff all share for the Red Rose. I am extremely proud to be leading this club into a new chapter and I hope that we are able create more history together.
“On behalf of the entire squad, I would like to thank Dane for his commitment to the job and the backing which he has shown to each of us during his four seasons as captain. He has been a massive part of my development as a leader, and I know that I will still be able to call on his experience in the dressing room.”
Lancashire finished as runners-up in all three major competitions in 2022, with Vilas overseeing both the Blast campaign, which ended in a last-ball defeat to Hampshire in the final, and their second-place finish in the LV= Insurance Championship. The 37-year-old South African, who joined the club in 2017, will continue to play as one of Lancashire’s overseas players for 2023.
“After taking some time out during the winter and having conversations with senior management at the club, I have decided to stand down as captain of Lancashire,” Vilas said. “It has been an honour and a privilege to lead this great county for the past four seasons, but I feel that the time is now right to step back from the role and allow Keaton to build on the superb job which he started during last season’s One-Day Cup.”
Lancashire’s men’s head coach, Glen Chapple, added: “Firstly, I would like to thank Dane for captaining the club with pride and dedication during the last four seasons. As a coaching team, we fully support his decision and feel it is a true testament to Dane’s character that he has made the selfless decision to step down with the team’s best interests at the forefront of his mind. We look forward to continuing to work with Dane as one of our senior players.
“I am delighted that Keaton has accepted our offer to become the new club captain and we are all confident that he will do an excellent job. Keaton displayed his leadership qualities during last summer’s run to the One-Day Cup final, he has the full respect of the dressing room, and this now feels like a natural next step at the current stage of his career.
“After speaking to Keaton, I know how proud he is to take this role and I am looking forward to working more closely with him as we step up our preparations for the new season and beyond.”