“I’ve got no regrets at all and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.”
After two decades at the County Ground, David Sales has called time on his professional cricketing career.
With a CV that boasts an impressive 14,140 first class runs from 249 appearances, 7,406 runs in 267 List A outings and 1,279 runs in 61 Twenty20 matches, Sales rightly takes his place among the top echelons of Northamptonshire players.
That his hand was forced as a result of a serious ankle injury sustained whilst fielding against Durham on a damp Friday evening has provided an ill-fitting final chapter but Sales, who was forced to go under the knife to repair the damage, isn’t bitter.
In fact, he’s anything but and he said: “It was only when I got injured that I thought my time was up.
“My ankle isn’t going to be quite the same and not really up to playing first-class cricket.
“It’s a four-month recovery period and that’s too long if I wanted to keep playing at this level.
“But that’s the way it is and there’s no point worrying about it.
These things happen and that’s just the way it’s panned out although I’d still love to be playing.”
Sales’ retirement will leave a gaping hole in the County’s batting stocks, after all, in excess of 22,000 runs can’t simply be conjured up.
There is also the wealth of experience gathered over such a lengthy stint, a period of time that has produced more than enough to look back fondly on.
So which occasions stand out?
“Getting a triple hundred (303no against Essex in 1999) and receiving my county cap on the same day was special.
“And making 160 in a one-day game against Yorkshire was also a good day.
“There have been plenty of downs as it’s that kind of game, but more than enough ups and I’ve enjoyed every minute.
“You meet a lot of great people and get the chance to play against some fantastic cricketers and I’ll leave with my head held high.”
As for the downs he referred to, a season-ending knee injury picked up on an England A tour to the Caribbean possibly cost him the chance of pushing for full international honours was a low point.
But while that was as far up the ladder as Sales went – unjustly according to many a good judge – he isn’t one to think of what might have been.
He added: “It’s all mights and might-nots really.
“The knee injury didn’t come at an ideal time but that’s life.
“I’m really pleased with what I’ve achieved and I’ve had a really happy 20 years at the club.
“There are no regrets from me.”
As for what he will do next, Sales mentioned that coaching might be his scene but he doesn’t intend to rush into anything.
“I hope to go into coaching but I’ll get everything right with my ankle before I make any decisions.
“There’s plenty of stuff that I want to do, I’ll just have to wait and see where I go.”