THE retirement of David Sloane from Shoalhaven cricket after the 2013-14 final series caught many unawares for he had enjoyed a notable season and his form appeared to be as good as ever.
During the summer he had –
Become the first person to score 10,000 runs in senior matches with Ex-Servicemen;
Won the association’s second grade batting average for the second time; and
Led his team to its fourth successive premiership, a feat unique in that division.
After starting his career with Nowra juniors, a 12-year-old Sloane joined Ex-Servicemen in 1978-79 and in a 36-year career he would achieve a huge amount.
He was given his first taste of first grade cricket at the age of 16, and his most productive season in that division was 471 runs in 1988-89, one of four years that he topped 400.
As an opener, he carried his bat through an innings on three occasions.
Perhaps his only regret was that on reaching 50 in 38 first grade innings, he went on to a hundred only twice.
He featured in nine century partnerships in first grade, three of them with Gary Bridge.
The highest was 160 for the second wicket with Andrew Duffy against Albatross in 1986-87 which remains a club record.
When he retired from first grade after the 2009-10 grand final, he had amassed 6511 runs which is 2249 more than his nearest rival.
In second grade his two centuries came 30 years apart, while he passed 50 on 26 other occasions.
He featured in seven century partnerships in seconds – the highest being 190 for the sixth wicket with Dean Trost against Bomaderry in the just completed season, which established a new record for the team.
His final stats in senior matches with Ex-Servicemen were – 430 matches (including 286 in first grade and 122 in second), 10,171 runs (including 6511 in firsts and 3186 in seconds), 158 wickets (of which 117 were in firsts), 167 catches (114 in firsts) and 22 stumpings.
He appeared in one first grade premiership team, along with two one-day titles; while in seconds there were five premierships and five one-day titles.
His 84 in 2008-09 remains a record for a one-day final in second grade.
After representing Shoalhaven in all junior age groups, he moved on to the under 19s, under 24s and seniors, at one stage captaining the Burns Cup team.
With his club, he served nine seasons as president and was honoured with life membership in 2001-02.
However he is perhaps better known for his role as association president for almost 13 years.
During that time he proved himself to be an able administrator, earning the respect of those involved at the local level right through to Cricket NSW.
He became the SDCA’s 11th life member in 2010-11.
During Ex-Service men’s presentation night last Saturday, Sloane’s achievements and commitment to the club were detailed, after which he rose to a standing ovation.