Carl Rogers happy to avoid the spotlight on his final appearance for Norfolk County Cricket Club
Carl Rogers was happy to bow out quietly as his 22-year Norfolk career came to an end yesterday.
For a while it seemed that the fairytale ending of Rogers hitting the winning runs in his final appearance could materialise – but the 41-year-old Great Witchingham opener admitted he was not relishing that prospect: 'I didn't really fancy a bat today,' he said. 'It was going to be a situation where we would have needed 10 or 20 and as an opening batsman you feel like you're on a hiding to nothing when that happens. I was hoping we were going to get them out so I didn't have to put the pads on again.
'I'm obviously a little bit sad and disappointed that it's over, but I've known for quite a long while now that I was going to finish. I've given it my best shot and I think as any sportsman you know when the time is right and that's how it feels for me.'
The victory over Hertfordshire by an innings and 33 runs was the ideal way for Rogers to finish and he believes he is leaving behind a county side with a bright future: 'The lads did really well and I thought we bowled as well in this match as we have done all season,' he said. 'We batted well on the first day and it was a really good team effort, several people got 50s and the wickets were shared around.
'Luke Caswell bowled a really good spell, putting the ball in the right areas and he swung it as well.'
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Rogers, who captained Norfolk in 2008, 2009 and 2010, could only add 10 in the first innings to his prodigious tally of runs for Norfolk, leaving him on 10,186 from 159 matches – a total bettered only by Michael Falcon.
He picked out the one-day victory at Lord's in 1997 – when he scored a century – as the highlight of his county career and added: 'It's given me a chance to travel around the country playing cricket and I've been lucky to be able to get time off work to play. But it's not just about playing cricket, I've met so many people through playing for Norfolk and from playing for the county I went on to play on the MCC young cricketers groundstaff and to become an MCC member, so it's just snowballed from playing for Norfolk.'
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Rogers plans to continue playing for Witchingham 'maybe for a couple of seasons', but is looking forward to keeping a closer eye on the development of his 13-year-old son Will: 'He's progressing well with his cricket and I would like to see him a little bit more,' said Rogers, pictured. 'I do enjoy watching him – most of the time!
'But I think the body is also telling me it's time to finish. The session today I found hard work, even when you're standing at slip.'