Emotional Michael Carberry paid tribute to his former cricket coach after underlining his own return to health and form with a tremendous unbeaten century.
The Hampshire batsman hit 140 not out – his first ton since returning to the fold following his major health scare with a blood clot on the lung that threatened both his career and his life.
Carberry last hit three figures almost a year to the day when he bagged successive centuries in a Championship clash against Durham at May’s Bounty.
The former Surrey man piled on the runs in tandem with Neil McKenzie (95 not out) yesterday, as Hampshire closed on a rain-affected day three of their clash with Yorkshire on 291 for two, in reply to the visitors’ 532 all out.
While the game is petering out into a draw, Carberry’s knock was a significant moment for a variety of reasons.
Carberry explained: ‘It was a special moment to get to 100.
‘I’ve been out of the game for a while and I also had a bereavement this week with a dear friend of mine who passed away so it was dedicated to him. The innings had a lot of meaning.
‘David Lomas was my Croydon Schools district manager from under-13 level. He was a close family friend and was somebody who supported me throughout my career.
‘He died this week and I wasn’t able to get to the funeral because I’m playing and I’m playing against his county, Yorkshire.
‘I’m sure he’s watching from above and it was very emotional for me.’
Carberry has, thankfully, conquered his health problem and his century was the perfect tonic for both himself and his team who are struggling to stay in the County Championship division one.
The left-hander said: ‘It’s always nice when you’ve been out of the game for a little while and it’s been a tough season for us as well.
‘We’ve been struggling with the bat all season so it was nice as one of the senior pros to set the tone.
‘I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself – it’s one innings. I always believe it’s about doing it again and again, day in, day out.
‘But it was my day. Certain things I’ve been working on in the nets have clicked.
‘It was tough up front but a few came out of the middle of the bat.
‘I’ve been working quite hard to get back and it was a great partnership with Macca.’