WHEN it comes to retirement, they say you know when the time is right and that time has come for Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemen second grade skipper David Sloane, who has pulled the curtains on a career spanning almost 40 years.
He probably couldn’t have asked for a better way to go out, finishing the 2013-14 season with the association’s best batting average and winning his fourth consecutive second grade premiership with his Ex-Servos team- mates on the same day he celebrated his 48th birthday.
Sloane admitted it would be hard to walk away from the game he has played since he was nine, but he knew the time was right.
“As long as you’re still enjoying it, I think you should keep playing, but after many years it has lost a little bit of its charm and by going out on a positive note, I can finish with my head held high,” he said.
“I would think there will be the odd time when I’ll wish I was back out there playing, but once I’ve made a decision, it is well and truly made.
“I’m not the sort to be a part-time player or to make comebacks, I think you’ve got to be part of the whole thing, or not at all.”
Having had such a long association with the game and with the Ex-Servos club, Sloane said it would be impossible to just walk away completely and he will probably have to be weaned off it.
“Just for the next season, I would like to take a break completely, but after that I would like to stay involved at some level of administration,” he said.
“I don’t know whether that will be at club, association or zone level, but it’s something I can see myself doing, rather than coaching or umpiring.”
Sloane played all of his senior cricket with Ex-Servos and said changing clubs might have meant he won more premierships, but he was very proud to stay a one-club man.
In addition to the recent success in second grade, Sloane was part of the first grade premiership team of 1988-89, which was one of the highlights of his career, as was the opening of Hayden Drexel Oval in 2001, where they hosted a NSW team featuring future Australian captain Michael Clarke.
While he has said his farewell to the Shoalhaven competition, Sloane will play one final season in the English summer.
He has had an eight-year stint with a Surrey based club in English cricket and will leave shortly to play his final season.
“My last game will actually be in France, when we play Toulouse Cricket Club on our end of season trip, so that’s a bit of a quirky exclamation mark on the end of my career,” he laughed.
With Australia being on the wrong end of a few Ashes results during his time in England, Sloane has copped his fair share of flack from his team- mates, but will delight in reminding them of the recent 5-0 whitewash.
Although cricket sometimes took a back seat to the running of his own business when he was younger, Sloane said he was happy to be walking away from the game with no regrets and with Ex-Servos in a very healthy state.