Le Prevost declares after 16 years an island player

Rob Batiste wrote the following article in the Press in January 2013 after Stuart Le Prevost announced his retirement from captaincy and representative cricket:

HIS beloved Cobo will continue to benefit from the trademark sweet clips off the legs for four, those booming drives down the ground and sturdy presence. But, after 16 years, Stuart Le Prevost says his time is up as an international cricketer and the decision to quit had been ‘half made’ for some time. ‘I said to Vids [Peter Vidamour the island team manager] early last season “I’m fairly sure this will be my last season. ‘I’ve had a fair crack at it and it’s the turn of somebody else,’ said this popular cricketer, while insisting his departure from the international scene has absolutely nothing to do with Nic Pothas becoming the island’s first director of cricket and, as a consequence, being a new man to answer to. ‘Absolutely not. I think he will do a fantastic job and it has got nothing to do with that at all. It is for different reasons really and my first thoughts on it came about when we were coming back from Singapore. It’s so many things. Fitness, wanting to spend more time with a young family, work. It’s the whole package. I think people know when the time is right to go.’

‘Also, I have scored just one fifty in the last three world tournaments and, as a top-order batsman, you have got to be able to score runs as well.’ Interestingly, the departing captain agrees with the viewpoint that he has not got the best out of himself as a batsman. ‘I think I should have done better. I probably should have scored more runs – especially for Guernsey. ‘Many a time I didn’t do myself justice.’ And why?

‘I never had a concentration problem. I have always enjoyed batting. ‘But captaincy, possibly, particularly in places like Asia where it is very hot and there have been all the little things ICC like you to do, like press conferences, getting in the team sheets on time, it is sometimes a relief to get on the pitch.’ Pothas still hopes to convince Le Prevost that he has a representative future without the captaincy and, interestingly, the Cobo man, says you should ‘never, say never’. ‘But definitely, for the moment: he is an ex-island player, he insists.

S Le Prevost in his new coaching role     (GEP)

Meanwhile, you will have to go a long way and perhaps still find no player who has played under him at club or island level, who has a bad word to say about the elder of Brian and Jan Le Prevost’s two boys. And, as far as the former captain considers, playing for his island has been ‘everything I expected and more’. He made his island debut in 1997 and, all these years later, admits he was very disappointed not to get in the side a year earlier. Like every debutant, he was nervous as he arrived at the KGV on a foggy day, but those butterflies were eased a little courtesy of big cricket supporter, Karl Parkyn, who made a jocular comment towards star Jersey player Steve Carlyon. ‘Steve turned up and he had always been a bit of a hero of mine, because of his cricket and he was a goalkeeper like me. ‘Parky then reminded him that he had cocked up in the [football] Muratti and that perhaps he should do so again today. Steve took it all well and we had a laugh about it. ‘I think I top-scored [he is right, he scored 44 batting first wicket down] – I gave my wicket away caught and bowled.’ Like many a batsman, he has been guilty of the latter and not being able to grind out the runs in the manner of teammates Jeremy Frith or Lee Savident, has frustratingly for those of us who purr to his majestic onside strokes, held him back. But his overall stats are still very, very useful, considering Jersey have had some decent teams in his 16-year inter-insular career. The high points?  ‘From a personal point of view I guess when I got 53 not out and hit the winning runs, in Jersey. ‘Everything I hit went for four that day. I think I finished with something like 11 fours and a six. It was the day I came off. ‘From a team point of view it would have been the second time we won after Jersey’s 10 in a row. Ferby [Justin Ferbrache] and Pierre Moody got us over the line.’ He then remembers the half- century he scored at Hove. ‘The Guernsey-Sussex link worked great for me, especially me being a Sussex supporter as well. ‘So, getting a fifty against Kenya at Hove was a great day. It even had the old man crying.’ But, he will argue, that for island cricket in general, there was no better day in his time than the day Guernsey won World League Division Six. ‘I hope I am proved wrong, but I think it will be a long, long time before there is a better team performance than the one in Malaysia. ‘The camaraderie shone through and to win from the position we were in .. .’ The ex-skipper is adamant there is a lot going for the island and its new director, the former Hampshire man and South African international, Nic Pothas. ‘There’s some fantastic youngsters coming through and there is a massive future ahead for some of those guys. ‘Young Matt Stokes is a huge prospect. He bats and bowls and fields well. ‘Jason Martin is a great little keeper. And there are others. ‘With the ICG Centre and the new development here [at the KGV, where we are sitting in the makeshift groundsman’s hut] the opportunities we have got are fantastic.’