|Full name||Mark James Chilton|
|Born||2 October 1976|
Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Domestic team information|
Source: Cricinfo, 23 September 2011
Mark James Chilton (born 2 October 1976 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire) is an English first-class cricketer. Chilton was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Durham University where he won the British Universities tournament in 1997. The same year he made his debut for Lancashire, aged 20. Chilton has been compared in batting style to fellow Manchester Grammar School student and former Lancashire and England batsman John Crawley.
Chilton began the 2002 season as one half of Lancashire's first-choice opening partnership with Alec Swann who joined the club in the off-season. For most of the season Chilton struggled for runs in the County Championship, although he was more successful in one-day cricket, scoring two hundreds in the Benson & Hedges Cup. In September 2002, towards the end of the season, Chilton was awarded his county cap by Lancashire. He was appointed Lancashire captain when Warren Hegg resigned in September 2004 after relegation to County Championship Division Two.
Chilton must consider the 2005 season, his first as Lancashire skipper, as a minor success after leading the county to promotion in the Championship and to the final of the Twenty20 Cup before losing out to Somerset Sabres at The Oval. Lancashire also progressed to the semi-final of the Benson & Hedges Cup where they lost to Warwickshire. Chilton was close to tears after the match, which was the club's seventh defeat in a semi-final in six years.
The 2007 County Championship was closely contested and going into the final round of matches, Lancashire were at the top of the table. A 24-run defeat to Surrey in their final fixture saw Lancashire finish as runners-up. Chilton was in tears afterwards and said "I'm extremely proud of what our guys have achieved though. As captain I'm privileged to have seen the efforts they have put in. To get close to our target was a phenomenal effort but the lads are just broken. Our players have risen to an almighty challenge and to come so close is an enormous effort". At the end of the season, Chilton resigned as Lancashire captain after three years in the position, citing reasons of form. He had managed 616 runs in the Championship that year at an average of 28.00. Although the team only won one trophy under Chilton's leadership, they came close on numerous occasions, narrowly missing out on two County Championship titles, two Twenty20 cups, and the C&G Trophy. Having relinquished the captaincy, Chilton spent most of the 2008 season in Lancashire's Second XI, struggling for form and trying to force his way back into the First team. In stark contrast, in 2009 he was voted Lancashire's Player of the Year. After retirement, Chilton returned to Manchester Grammar where he took the position of director of cricket.
Chilton was awarded a benefit season for 2011. That year Lancashire won the County Championship for the first time since they shared the title in 1950, and their first outright win since 1934. Chilton contributed 478 runs in 13 Championship matches that season at an average of 22.76. At the end of the 2011 season he announced his retirement from playing cricket.
- "Chilton leads Lancs recovery", Manchester Evening News, 14 September 2002, retrieved 23 September 2011
- Mark Chilton awarded benefit by Lancashire, BBC Sport, 11 August 2010, retrieved 30 August 2010
- Evans, Colin (22 August 2005), "Cricket: Don't label us as cup chokers", Manchester Evening News, retrieved 23 September 2011
- Cricinfo staff (22 September 2007), 'The best County Championship season ever', Cricinfo, retrieved 26 September 2011
- Hardcastle, Graham (24 September 2007), "Watkinson salutes Lancs heroes", Manchester Evening News, retrieved 26 September 2011
- Lancs skipper Chilton steps down, BBC Sport, 18 October 2007, retrieved 19 October 2007
- Chilton steps down as Lancashire captain, Cricinfo, 18 October 2007, retrieved 26 September 2011
- Hardcastle, Graham (18 October 2007), Tough decision for me, says Chilton, Lancashire County Cricket Club, archived from the original on 17 May 2011, retrieved 19 October 2007
- Chris Ostick (30 September 2009), "Chilton lands Lancashire player of the year award", Manchester Evening News, retrieved 23 September 2011
- "What a catch! Lancashire cricket hero Mark Chilton joins Manchester Grammar", Manchester Evening News, 17 January 2012, retrieved 19 January 2012
- Lancashire's Mark Chilton retires after 14 years, BBC Sport, 23 September 2011, retrieved 23 September 2011
- Chilton retires after title triumph, Cricinfo, 23 September 2011, retrieved 23 September 2011