Monday, 18 July 2016

Poynton retirement a sad day


The news that broke today confirmed a few whispers that had been dotting around in the past week or so, but still came as a surprise.

Tom Poynton has announced his retirement from first-class cricket after a recurrence of the ankle problem he sustained in the car crash that killed his father, Keith, back in  2014. It will require further surgery and Tom has called time on his cricket career to pursue other interests.

That he returned to the first-class game at all was a major triumph. Doing so to little detriment of his wicket-keeping was most definitely so and Tom, a product of the club's Academy, maintained a consistently high standard behind the stumps, missing little enough to make it newsworthy when one did go down.

He was a wicket-keeper in the best of county traditions and, while consistently steady, was occasionally brilliant, especially standing up. He was my kind of 'keeper, undemonstrative and going about his work with the minimum of fuss. He was also loud and if he sees 'town crier' as a potential future career, there is little doubt that he has the pipes to make a good fist of the job. He was a good pupil to Karl Krikken's teacher and they were similar in vocal prowess, keeping the field on its toes and the bowler's going.

As a batsman he could be a doughty fighter, but was also capable of hitting a long ball and played some good cameos for his club. These were perhaps not frequent enough to confirm him as untouchable in the side, but he played for the team and has always been appreciated by his team mates throughout a ten-year association with the club.

Few will forget that wonderful century he made in partnership with Wayne Madsen at Northampton, when he recorded what was his only career century. Had it not been for the injury, which inevitably set him back and caused him to miss a season, who knows how his batting might have developed?

Most assuredly he will be remembered as one of the game's nice guys. There was always a ready smile, a firm, offered handshake and the steady gaze of a man as interested in you as you were in him. He was as fit as the proverbial butcher's dog and looked that way from first ball to last each day.

That he will make a success of whatever career path he chooses is assured. He will be as meticulous in his preparation for that career as he was about his cricket and I am sure that there will be plenty of options available to him.

What Derbyshire do to replace him is open to conjecture, but is a piece for another day.

For now, all that remains is to wish Tom Poynton the very best for that future career, where I am sure he will continue to pay great attention to the fortunes of his beloved county.

Without doubt, he will make his family proud, just as he always has done.

I wish him the very best in those new ventures, as I am sure you all do.

Thanks for everything, TP.

4 comments:

Mark said...

Well done Derbyshire on making Glamorgan look like the West Indies of the seventies and eighties. This ranks as one of the poorest performances so far in recent times, Surrey last season equally as pathetic. Bottom of the table final placing looking a good bet now, and plenty of thinking to be done in the winter months.

notoveryet said...

Sad news for Tom Poynton, but I can't agree with you, Peakfan, that his return after his injury was without detriment to his keeping. At best it was average last year (as indicated by the fact that Hosein spent most of the season as first choice keeper in 4 day cricket) and this year, it has been poor to the extent that his dropped chances have probably cost us matches. His batting has been poor since his return, and I commented a couple of weeks ago that he was no better than a poor tailender.

Like many others, I thought I was commenting on a player in poor form who was being inexplicably selected in all forms of the game, and now feel rather guilty that I made such negative comments about a player who was so badly limited by injury. However, it begs the question about why he was being asked to play when neither his fitness or performance was benefiting from it. It was obvious to most of us watching him that he was way short of the standards that he had set prior to his injury, so why wasn't it to those selecting the team?

It's done his legacy and reputation no favours, and I'm afraid that the same rigid and dogmatic selection policies are happening with other players, and could impact on their fitness and confidence. Critchley is performing admirably in T20, but is a lamb to the slaughter in 4 day cricket. Cotton has been struggling since the first innings of the Kent match and we've already seen that he's not a bowler who can recover form in the team. Despite having made the most of his few opportunities this year, Slater cannot dislodge either of our under-performing Kiwis, and Thakor likewise is batting at 6 or 7 behind the same under-performers. Tom Poynton may have paid the price for this with his career (note his comment about "professional workload" which I can only interpret as the number of games he was expected to play) but others may also fall by the wayside (or step away| if more rational decisions aren't made.

Adam said...

It had been obvious for some time that Tom had been struggling so it was no surprise to see him call time on his career. I agree that his performances since his return had not been to the same standard as before but full credit to him for making every effort to try and return to first class cricket. We shall never know how far he could have reached due to that unfortunate accident.

He was a very vocal, popular member of the squad and by all accounts from people who met him very approachable and friendly. Thank you for your efforts Tom and good luck in your future ventures!

Roy of the Falcons said...

Sorry to hear that Tom has decided to call it a day but after my initial surprise I can see the logic. During his year off through injury Tom involved himself in lots of the off field business activities of the club. This may well have shown him that there are lots of other challenges in life. Tom is a clever lad and it would not surprise me to see him in a lead role within the local business economy or even a similar role in cricket administration eventually.
Tom. Thanks for all the entertainment and best wishes for the future.