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Hanson: The time was right to call time on Rawtenstall career
VINNY Hanson says the time was right to announce he was calling time on his cricketing career - but wants his Rawtenstall men to forget about his farewell and focus on the job in hand between now and the end of the season.
The 32-year-old Rawtenstall skipper and wicketkeeper, one of the great characters in the Foster's Lancashire League, will put away his gloves for the final time after the last game of the campaign in September.
But he is promising the league's batsmen that he will stay in their ear until then as Rocky aim for silverware on two fronts as they sustain a title charge as well as having a Worsley Cup seimi-final to look forward to.
"It was the right time to announce it," said Hanson. "I would rather let everyone know now so that plans can be made for next season while we get on with our jobs on the field now.
"And it is something that I have thought about for a few seasons now. It was very close to the time in 2012 when we had Jandre Coetzee as professional.
"We were losing matches and nothing was going our way. Over a season and a half we lost 16 games on the trot and as upbeat as we are at Rawtenstall our dressing room was not a nice place to be during that time.
"But we have turned the club around. That was why we brought Brett Pelser in as professional, to develop the younger players and give us a footing for the future and it shows the work that has been done with where we are now.
"People were laughing at us when we couldn't win a game but now they are talking about us and that is a good feeling.
"And the time is right to step aside.
" There is so much more to being a captain than just turning up of a weekend to play.
"My daughter starts school in September and I want to be there for her and after what I have done on the cricket field I would rather have a few regrets about missing a couple of years of cricket than regret not seeing my daughter grow up."
With Rocky refusing to lie down in what is already shaping up to be an enthralling title race and in the last four of the Worsley Cup there is a serious possibility that Hanson, who has been in fine form with gloves and bat this season, could get his hands on some silverware.
"It would be nice but there's a long way to go yet," he said. "But now this news is out there and we can put it to one side and just go about our business as usual and see where it takes us."
The next game for Hanson and company takes them on the short journey to local and often heated rivals Haslingden on derby day tomorrow.
And that is a game Hanson really wants to win.
"We are big rivals and we play hard in that game," he said.
"I've been sent a few messages on twitter and text since I said I was packing up and one of those was from Linford (Haslingden opener Graham Knowles). I am sure we will have a pint after the game on Sunday but I want it to be after a win.
"It's my last time playing at Bentgate and I really want to beat them."
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