County news February 16, 2016

Balcombe retires to work for KP Foundation

ESPNcricinfo staff

David Balcombe enjoyed two productive seasons in 2011 and 2012 © PA Photos

David Balcombe, the Surrey and former Hampshire pace bowler, has retired from professional cricket to take up a full-time role with the Kevin Pietersen Foundation.

Balcombe, 31, joined Surrey from Hampshire in 2015. Although he did not make a first-team appearance during the season, Balcombe was preparing for the new summer before making his decision.

"To play professional cricket was a dream come true and I have thoroughly enjoyed every minute," Balcombe said. "Hampshire gave me my first opportunity in the professional game and it is the club I will always hold close to my heart.

"I have made lifelong friends, experienced some wonderful career moments and it provided me with 10 seasons of immense enjoyment."

Balcombe made his first-class debut for Durham UCCE against Somerset in 2005 - and he made special mention of the role Graeme Fowler, the former head coach at the university, played for his early mentoring role - before his County Championship debut came in 2007 for Hampshire against Kent.

Overall, Balcombe took 196 first-class wickets at 32.83 with a career-best 8 for 71 against Gloucestershire in 2012. He enjoyed a productive two-year period which began with a loan spell for Kent in 2011 where he claimed 33 wickets at 17.81 before following that in 2012 with 64 first-class wickets at 26.10 back with Hampshire.

"I will forever remain indebted to Kent for the tremendous support I received when I went on loan to them for a short time," he said. "They helped me immensely with my cricket and also as an individual. Every time I think of the St Lawrence Ground it will be with a huge smile.

"As a boy I had always dreamed of playing for Surrey, my home county. When, in 2015, I was given the chance to go back to where I began my cricket career it was too big an opportunity to turn down.

"I am very grateful to Surrey for all their support this year and for their help and understanding in my decision to retire."

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  • Gevelsis on February 16, 2016, 13:18 GMT

    Those are mighty impressive figures DB; you should be proud. Good luck with the KPF.

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