Havant CC stalwart Jeremy Bulled might have to delay Southern Premier League retirement
Long-serving Havant CC wicket-keeper Jeremy Bulled might have to delay the hanging up of his gloves.
Bulled, the club’s joint director of cricket alongside Andrew Galliers, had been intending to make the 2021 Southern Premier League campaign his last following the pre-season signing of George Metzger.
But after alternative wicket-keeping duties during the first two weather-interrupted months, Metzger decided to return to former club Basingstoke & North Hants.
That means Bulled could be called upon again in 2022.
Havant 1st XI skipper Chris Morgan said it had been a ‘perfect storm’ of events which led to the former Hampshire Academy keeper/batsman returning to May’s Bounty.
Due to rain, Metzger had only managed to keep wicket in the Southern Premier League on two occasions. And after hitting 104 on his second appearance in a friendly against Chichester in April and 46 on his SPL debut against Hook, he had failed to get past 20 in for subsequent league innings.
His departure also came in the same week that Hampshire told him they wouldn’t be requiring his services at 2nd XI level again.
‘George’s performances weren’t to his liking, he was putting a lot of pressure on himself, and Hampshire telling him they didn’t need him was a kick in the guts.
‘I told him I was his friend first and his captain second, and he needed to go and enjoy his cricket again otherwise he would grow to resent it.
‘I think Basingstoke have a young team and he’s gone back to play with his friends and to enjoy cricket again.
‘He’s said if Basingstoke don’t win promotion he’d like to come back for next year. We’ll see.
‘If he doesn’t then Jez might have to keep hold of the gloves for another year.
‘But even when Jez retires from the 1st XI, I’m sure he will play lower down and bring on the youngsters.
‘He does a massive amount for this club behind the scenes. People turn up for training and games and things have been done, but there’s no magic fairy making it all happen.’
Bulled - also known on the local sporting scene for his time at Portsmouth Hockey Club - has proved his worth with the bat as well as behind the stumps in 2021.
With 176 runs at 29.33, he is the 1st XI’s third highest SPL runscorer behind Harry Gadd (219) and Ben Walker (185). He has also bagged six catches and two stumpings.
As for Metzger, he was out for 12 against Sarisbury on Saturday, a week after an unbeaten 92 against Portsmouth saw Basingstoke claim a seventh straight SPL Division 1 victory. Defeat to Sarisbury, though, has left them with a lot to do in order to catch leaders Totton & Eling.