Luke wants to remain captain and lead crickters back to Premier

Bexhill pile on the runs against Eastbourne
Bexhill pile on the runs against Eastbourne

Cricket skipper Luke Tomsett believes he is the best man for the job to guide Eastbourne back into the Premier League at the first attempt.

Eastbourne were relegated on the last day of the season following their 107 run home defeat against local rivals Bexhill.

The Saffrons side were relegated alongside Middleton and will compete in Sussex Division Two next season.

They finished just three points adrift of safety as Cuckfield finished third on 268 from 19 games.

Luke, who took over as captain from his brother Mark halfway through the season, said, “We are all extremely disappointed and hurting.

“I think putting in consistent batting and bowling performances together has been the main problem, too many times we have set a good total and failed to bowl the opposition out or we’ve bowled them out cheaply and not been able to chase the runs down.

“I knew it was going to be a hard job keeping us in the league when I took over after being on such a run of defeats but the boys dug deep, gave their all but unfortunately fell a couple of points short.

“I want to remain as captain and get the lads back in to the Premier League but I think that’s something for the committee to discuss over the winter. I think I’m the best person to do the job next season.”

To add injury to insult Tomsett was taken to hospital after he shifted bones and damaged ligaments in his foot while fielding on the boundary with just two balls of Bexhill’s innings remaining - the injury prevented Tomsett from batting in the run chase.

He added, “It was a bit freakish and it summed up my season.”

Chairman Ian Fletcher Price added, “The club is doing well on the whole with more than 180 juniors and five ladies teams enjoying their cricket. But you do want your first team to be doing well and playing at the top table of club cricket in Sussex. We have had too many players who have not been able to commit to a whole season of cricket. We have used 30 different players and that’s just from the halfway point -in contrast Bexhill used just 15 all season.

“I have heard more and more excuses week in week out than I have ever before in cricket. We have also lacked leadership when it mattered and I think we have made some naive decisions over the course of the season.”

Fletch added, “Firstly we need to recruit more wisely. I fully appreciate it is recreational cricket but we need players who can commit and put the club first instead of other distractions. We also need a senior figure who can lead and help us move forward.

“We are not about to make rash decisions. We will let the dust settle and then we can decide as a committee what we feel is best for the future. There is a passion within the club to bounce straight back into the Premier.”