Imagine, if you will, the perfect scenario.
After signing an initial one-year contract at a new First Class County, you end up staying for five years and during that period you become immensely popular with both your teammates and the Club’s followers.
Your playing career is coming to an end and you decide to call it a day. How do you go about making that announcement?
Your speak with the Club’s Director of Cricket, CEO and Media Manager. You then select a date to make the announcement. You then make the announcement on that date. It’s that simple.
Unless you are Johann Myburgh!
This is the story of how Johann’s retirement announcement didn’t quite go according to plan.
At the end of the 2017 season, it was revealed that Johann Myburgh had signed a white-ball only contract for Somerset and would therefore only play limited overs cricket for the County in 2018.
As the 2018 campaign drew to a close Johann felt that the time was right to hang up his pads for the final time. After a number of discussions, it was decided that Johann and the Club would announce his retirement following the Vitality Blast fixture against Essex Eagles at the Cooper Associates County Ground in early August.
However, as Johann explains. Things didn’t quite go according to plan.
“We were going to reveal everything the day after the Essex match,” he said. “I’d even recorded an interview for the Club website on the morning of that game. The innings against Essex ended up changing things slightly!”
“That was a strange day. I went in early to do all the interviews about finishing at the end of the season. I then got ready for the game in the normal way. After the game I spoke to Spencer Bishop (SCCC Media Manager) and Andy Hurry (SCCC Director of Cricket) and we felt that it would be better to delay the announcement for awhile so as not to take anything away from the team’s performance that day. They wanted me to enjoy the hundred and not have anything take away from that.
“It was a strange day and an emotional one as well. My dad was over to watch me play, so to get a hundred in a T20 game at home with him in the crowd, knowing that I would be retiring soon was very special and emotional. I don’t like to show too much emotion when I’m playing sport but on that day a lot came out.
“I desperately wanted to get a T20 hundred and during the Essex innings a lot came off the middle of the bat. It was a great feeling.”
The announcement was eventually made a few days later, so when Johann left the field in the Vitality Blast quarter-final win over Notts Outlaws, everyone knew that this would be the last time they would see him in action for Somerset at the Cooper Associates County Ground. Unsurprisingly he received a huge ovation from the capacity crowd.
“Once we’d pulled off the victory and we were walking off the field I couldn’t believe it. It was very unexpected and I didn’t for one moment expect anything like that. It was a very emotional moment and I tried to keep it togther but didn’t quite manage that! It’s a day that I’ll never forget. I saw my wife straight away and held my son and to be able to take him in to the dressing room was great. To see all the boys high fiving him is a picture that will live with me forever.
“I received so many good wishes and messages of support. The support that Somerset get is magnificent. They support the players very well but the amount of messages I got was overwhelming and I appreciate it so much. It was very humbling. I will never forget my time at Somerset.”