CRAIG Gibbens has stressed that his decision to relinquish the captaincy at Goatacre was the “right decision to make”.
The seamer, under whose stewardship the tiny village club have dominated local and regional cricket over the past three years, is set to hand over the reins of the first team to hard-hitting opening batsman Ed Kilbee for the 2013 campaign after three years during which Goatacre claimed two promotions before coming within six runs of elevation to the WEPL Premier One last season.
Throw into the mix a run to the semi-final of the National Village Knockout Cup and Gibbens can lay claim to being one of the club’s most successful skippers, but he conceded that the rigours of competitive cricket are starting to take a toll on his body - and he is comfortable that stepping aside is the correct thing to do for both himself and the team.
“We’ve had a tremendous three years and achieved beyond all expectations. If we’re going to keep moving forward I would think it is the right time,” he said.
“It was quite emotional towards the end of the season, in terms of how it could have finished and how it did finish and my initial reaction was one of disappointment. My initial thoughts were that it was time for someone else probably out of sheer frustration and disappointment, but the more I thought about it the more I thought it is the right thing to do.
“I was struggling with Tuesdays, I was struggling from Saturday to Saturday as well personally although the performances on the pitch were getting better and better. I was finding it harder and harder to get myself fit for Saturdays.”
Though Gibbens’ successor is media-shy, his talent speaks volumes. As devastating and dynamic a batsman as you are likely to find at Goatacre’s current level, Kilbee is understood to have been looked at by first-class counties including Worcestershire in recent years.
Gibbens believes the left-hander’s ‘Mr Cricket’ mentality makes him the perfect man to take on the role.
“We just think it’s the right time to make a change in terms of moving the club forwards. Kilbs is the right man to take over and lead us into Prem One. We’re hoping that will be very successful,” he said.
“He’s more committed in terms of the whole package that comes with being in charge and I’m struggling in terms of commitment to nets and other aspects of it. It seems the right thing to do and to move it forward on the pitch as well - a bit of freshness, a few new ideas.
“From initial frustration and quite an emotional decision it seemed to be the right thing to do, and having someone to hand it over to who I believe will instil the right disciplines in terms of practicing and netting and who can take it forward on the pitch meant it all seemed to make sense.”