Sidmouth CC skipper quits on eve of new league season

Nick Gingell batting for Sidmouth at home to Paington. Ref shsp 19 17TI 2393. Picture: Terry Ife

Nick Gingell batting for Sidmouth at home to Paington. Ref shsp 19 17TI 2393. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth CCs new skipper Nick Gingell surprised team-mates and rivals alike by standing down as captain on the eve of the new season, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Gingell inherited the captaincy from Luke Bess, who steered Sidmouth to the Premier Division title on the final day of the 2018 season.

Gingell, who has had spells as 2nd XI captain and 1st XI vice-captain, seemed the ideal man for the job in everyone’s eyes except his own.

Speaking immediately after his appointment in November, Gingell said: ““I am not naïve enough to think my place in the side is guaranteed as I was dropped three times last season.

“Just like every other player in the team I will have to perform if I want to keep my place.

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“If we recruit all of the players we are talking to, our strongest side is going to be very strong.”

Sidmouth did recruit during the winter – batters Rory Thomas (Bradninch) and Alex Barrow (Exeter) arrived together with Somerset and England spinner Dom Bess (Clevedon) – which made Gingell’s prophesy self-fulfilling.

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After the team captains sat down to select sides earlier this week, Gingell realised there was only one thing to do.

“The long and the short of it is that Zak Bess will be running Saturday 1st XI stuff on the day from now on,” said Gingell.

“It was the only way I could keep certain individuals in the side whom I feel should be there and deserve to be there.

“Also, with one eye on the future, I have taken the opportunity to stand aside.

“In recent weeks it has transpired that I will be unavailable for large chunks of the season. Zak’s availability has increased and had we known that six months ago he would have been in the job anyway.

“Combined with me wanting to promote youth, I do not feel I could stamp my authority on the side as a captain should.

“I will still be there in the background and operating under the previously explained role of club captain and will be there to lean on at any time.

“Of course there may be times when I am called upon to play in the first team, which is fine.

All in all I feel I am doing this for the good of the club as a whole, both on and off the field.”

Fionn Wardrop, the Sidmouth chairman, said Gingell had acted selflessly in the best interests of the club.

He added: “Nick is a great lad and I am so glad he will be able to carry on as club captain, a role he is already doing really well.

“His circumstances have changed, which will affect his availability, but as he showed in the T20 against Plymouth and Exmouth last week he still cuts it at 1st XI level.”

Gingell made 84 off 55 balls against Plymouth and 45 off 42 in the win over Exmouth as Sidmouth ensured qualification from pool four into the knockout stages of the Servicemaster Devon T20 Cup.

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