This Saturday will see the final appearance of Daniel Peacock in a Lymington shirt. The former Zimbabwe A spinner has spent the last two weeks moving house to Cambridge, but will return this weekend to captain Lymington against St Cross on Saturday. Then on Sunday Dan will skipper his Mavhoyi Wekumusha XI against Lymington at the Sports Ground as part of the club's President's Day celebrations. Dan's team (whose name translates as 'The African Village Boys') will consist entirely of Zimbabwean players and will include Test stars Trevor Gripper and Brian Murphy who are both close friends of Dan.
Dan joined Lymington before the start of the 2001 season, and soon established himself in Southern League cricket as a quality off-spinner and hard-hitting top order batsman. In his first season Dan, along with Aussie Brian Clemow, pulverised opposition bowling attacks on many occasions. His most memorable innings came against Old Basing when he bludgeoned 176. In that season Dan took 26 league wickets at 22 apiece and scored 399 runs as Lymington finished third. But it was in the SEC Trophy that Dan really came into his own. His 4 wickets in the final at the Rose Bowl ripped the heart out of the Andover middle order and deservedly won him the man-of-the-match award.
The following year Dan was appointed as Lymington captain and has since guided the team to two more third place finishes in 2002 and 2003. He has always led from the front and consistently sets the standard with his brilliant fielding. Dan even turned his hand to wicketkeeping during the match at Hursley earlier this season when Scott Sivier was injured. Dan managed to snare two catches and a stumping which, incredibly, put him joint top of the Division Two wicketkeeping stats at that point of the season. A little less successful was Dan's attempts to dislodge Shane Warne as the world's No. 1 leg spinner. Fortunately, Dan's cafeteria leg spin has largely been confined to the nets.
Dan rates last season's 1 wicket win against Hursley Park as the best match during his time at Lymington. "It was a fantastic team effort" he said. He also admitted that he'll miss everyone at the club, adding that despite the team's failure to secure promotion there have been many more good times than bad. So how does Dan think Lymington can achieve their ultimate aim of promotion to the Gold League: "By being more consistent against the lesser teams. We have this habit of raising our game against the top and going through the motions against the lesser sides. If the same intensity is kept throughout the season, you will walk it. Another important aspect is encouraging the young members to perform to their potential."
Dan's thick Zimbabwean accent has often caused amusement amongst his teammates who will miss his traditional "Howzit" greeting and shouts of "Twooooooo" every time the batsmen decide to take a couple of runs. Opposition bowlers have also discovered the futility of sledging the partially deaf Dan at the crease. Unfortunately Dan's 'selective' hearing has also led to a few run outs; his fellow batsmen fairly regularly ending up stranded at the same end of the wicket as him. One thing's for sure, life was rarely dull when Danny was on the field!
We could hardly end this tribute to Dan Peacock without mentioning his 'interesting' dress sense. Dan was rarely seen on the cricket pitch without his navy blue widebrimmed sun hat perched precariously on top of his head, and when Dan strode purposefully out to the wicket he often resembled General Custer marching into battle. Perhaps Dan's most memorable fashion faux pas occurred at the club presentation dinner earlier this year when he turned up wearing a smart jacket and tie . . . and a stripey sweater! One can only assume that Dan has been spending too long in the company of Tickle Jenkin!