David Griffiths admitted he was on a ‘hiding to nothing’ but still enjoyed his debut for Portsmouth & Southsea in their Southern Electric Premier League division three defeat to Basingstoke & North Hants II.
The former Hampshire pace bowler, who made his first-class debut back in 2006, ended his long association with the club and signed for Kent in the close season.
But as he furthers his future coaching ambitions, the Isle of Wight-born 28-year-old agreed to a request from his friend Tim Jacobs to turn out for the St James’s Park outfit when he is not tearing in at Canterbury.
Griffiths ended with figures of one for 34 from nine overs and scored 11 batting at a lofty number five as Portsmouth & Southsea were bowled out for 122, chasing Basingstoke’s 150 in the only game to beat the weather in the whole league.
But while he was not bowling anywhere near his full, terrifying 85 to 90mph, the former England under-19 star enjoyed the return to club cricket after coming through the ranks at Shanklin on the Isle of Wight before joining Hampshire.
Griffiths said: ‘I probably didn’t do myself justice but I know where I’m at and I’m doing it for the right reasons.
‘I do a lot of coaching for a guy called Tim Jacobs, who does a lot of coaching in south east Hampshire.
‘I do some coaching with the University of Portsmouth as well and a few of them are playing for Portsmouth & Southsea.
‘There are four of five lads that I have been coaching for a few years and are just getting into the first team.
‘So I wanted to give something back to Tim and to give something back to the club because they have been good to me.
‘You are on a hiding to nothing though.
‘If you do well, you are expected to do well.
‘If you don’t do so well, people will be saying you are rubbish.
‘But I know what I’m capable of and I don’t need to prove that.
‘I’m not getting paid or anything – I’m just doing it for a friend of mine.
‘It’s a different kind of enjoyment.
‘When you are a professional, there are so many things you have to do.
‘At club level, you can turn up and not worry about anything.
‘It takes you back a bit.
‘But it’s nice to play with the lads I have been coaching and to see how they are progressing.
‘Hopefully, I will be playing at Kent so I may not be available very often but I will play again if I can.’
Matt Benfield (two for 13) and Mike Patey (two for 39) grabbed the wickets for Portsmouth & Southsea.
But Chris Turrell’s miserly spell saw him concede just nine runs from his 10 overs as Basingstoke battled to 150 for six while Griffiths adapted his usual express style.
He said: ‘I wasn’t bowling at full tilt.
‘It’s not that I wasn’t trying but the wicket we played on, the faster you bowled the easier it was for the batsmen.
‘So it didn’t suit me that well!
‘I was probably a bit more than 50-per-cent but if it ever stops raining and I play again in the future, the wicket might suit me a little bit more.
‘The groundsman did very well to get us on at all but it was still wet.’
Benfield hit 38 while skipper Lewis Russell managed 19 not out but the home side were bowled out for 122.