Exmouth CC – changing of the guard as Richard Baggs announces his retirement from 1st XI cricket

PUBLISHED: 13:12 04 September 2018 | UPDATED: 13:12 04 September 2018

Richard Baggs battting for Exmouth at Bradninch. Picture: GERRY HUNT

Richard Baggs battting for Exmouth at Bradninch. Picture: GERRY HUNT

Archant

Former Exmouth captain Richard Baggs won’t be lost to the club just yet, even though he has announced his retirement from 1st XI cricket, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Baggs, who is 44 in November, has been hinting at retirement for a while.

And before last Saturday’s final Premier Division game of the season, Baggs confirmed he plans to give up 1st XI cricket.

It isn’t the end of the road, though, for Baggs as he has one last cricket journey to undertake.

“Time to drop down to the 2nd XI and maybe captain for a couple of seasons,” said Baggs.

Baggs, who has nearly 30 years on the clock in the Devon League, started with Exmouth as a teenager and played in some of the teams that won six successive Premier titles between 1999-95.

Baggs went walkabout for a while – Exeter, Clyst Hydon, Budleigh Salterton – and was skipper at Sandford between 2003-2006. There were two Premier titles during Baggs’ reign.

He returned to Exmouth as captain in 2007 and remained in charge until midway through the current season when he dropped down into the 2nd XI and Bob Dawson took over as caretaker captain.

Dawson, who has also announced his retirement from serious cricket, handed over the captaincy to Callum French for the final few games of the summer.

French was at the helm for the 70-run derby defeat by Sidmouth on Saturday, despite suffering a broken foot that meant he had to field for much of the game in his socks!

Victory earned Sidmouth the Premier Division title as it took them past Heathcoat, who lost to Baggs’ former club Sandford in their final game.

Said title-winning skipper Bess: “Josh and Nick Gingell batted really well, then all the bowlers did what was asked of them, especially Cookie, who went from probably not bowling to having to bowl 10 when Josh couldn’t bowl.”

Had things panned out differently for Exmouth, who topped the table for the first four weeks of the season, the celebrations may have come from the home dressing room.

Said French: “We played well first half [of the season] and showed on our day we can give anyone in the division a good, tough game.

“The second half was tough once we were out of the hunt.

“Unfortunately, we were not where we wanted to be at the end of the season but that was due to our own demise losing games we could have won.”

French picked out batters Dan Pyle and Miles Lenygon for praise, but with retirements looming for Bob Dawson and Richard Baggs there are gaps to plug.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in the winter with recruitment and building a squad for the future,” said French.

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