Market Harborough director of cricket Rob Taylor paid tribute to the ‘excellent’ Kevin Innes after the latter brought an end to his career with the club.
Saturday’s victory over Barrow Town was the last appearance the former Northamptonshire and Sussex all-rounder will make at Fairfield Road having decided he needed to dedicate more time to his day job.
And Innes, who is a senior coach with the Steelbacks, left with thanks and praise from Harborough’s Taylor.
“He’s had an excellent career with us and done brilliantly well,” he explained.
“In 10 years at the club his stats speak for themselves.
“I wouldn’t think there has been anyone in the league who has been a more consistent runscorers or wicket taker.
“He’s led with the ball for us and also held the middle order with the bat.
“He’s now decided that at this stage his work commitments mean he has to give more time to coaching and less to playing.
“Everything is going to be ramped up for him with the start of the T20 Blast so he had a decision to make.”
The departure of an experienced, former first-class all-rounder would certainly weaken most side, but Taylor is also keen to look to the positives.
“He will certainly leave quite a hole,” he said. “There’s no doubt about that.
“But it is also exciting for the other guys.
“There is a chance for one of the younger lads to stand up and take that spot, that spot at four and the one with the new ball.
“As much of a shame as it is for us, we are looking forward now.
“We had a great time on Saturday and said our thanks to Kev but it is now about us looking ahead and looking for others to step up.”
The side did at least see Innes of with a second straight victory – but only just.
Having bowled Barrow out for just 85, Harborough made a right meal of chasingit down.
They slipped from 71-3 to 79-8 in pursuit before eventually scraping home to a two-wicket victory.
“We didn’t think it was an 85 all out wicket,” Taylor added. “But 171 for 18 doesn’t make pretty reading.
“We expected to lose a few wickets as we sent players in who could break the game.
“We went to be positive because those low totals can be difficult to chase – as it proved.
“There were a few loose shots but also but also there were guys who were not aware of how the wicket was playing and how to adapt to it.
“It’s a problem we’ve had and it’s something we’re working on.
“But the important thing is we got over the line.
“We may have won ugly, and it was a little bit tight at the end, but we made it two wins out of two. We now need to keep that going.
“We’ve got Kibworth this weekend and it doesn’t get much bigger than that but we just need to stick to what we’ve done well.
“They are a very good side but they have struggled to bowl teams out.
“We’ll go again and do what we can to beat them.”