James Hibberd will captain South Wilts for the last time at Basingstoke & North Hants on Saturday after announcing that he is to leave after what he describes as “11 cracking years” with the Bemerton club.

One of the lead all-rounders in Southern Premier League cricket in the past decade or more, Hibberd has taken 315 league wickets and scored close on 3,500 runs for South Wilts since joining them from Totton & Eling in 2008.

His 57-wicket haul in his debut South Wilts season is a Premier League record.

“I’ve had a cracking time at South Wilts, winning four Premier Division titles and playing in a superb side, but I’m 37 now and my body is suffering from 20 odd years of playing Minor Counties and top level club cricket,” he explained. “With all my coaching commitments it is very difficult to dedicate so much time to the club, I also have a young family, two children aged five and eight years.

“Cricket is my playing and working life, but its become very tiring spending 12 hours or more a day, often seven times a week, travelling, playing, managing and coaching.”

Hibberd has been managing and coaching Hampshire junior county age group sides this season and is now running regional performance centres.

His contribution at Bemerton brought glowing praise from South Wilts chairman James Hayward, who is out for the remainder of the season with a broken hand.

He said: “Hibby has been a stalwart of South Wilts for the past 10 years and played a huge part in shaping our club. “His professional attitude both as senior head coach and a player has without doubt been one of the principal reasons for our success as a club over the past decade.

“His passion for the role and Club has been unquestionable. “His record is quite incredible and we’ve been lucky to have a player and coach of his quality leading our senior section.

“We are all extremely disappointed to see him go but fully respect and support his decision.

"He’s certainly going to leave a big void to fill at the club but his legacy will live on and we hope we can sustain his hard working, professional attitude within the club moving forward.

“He’s one of the best all round cricketers the Southern Premier League has produced and his record is quite staggering. “I am sure they’ll be plenty of batsman who will sleep a lot better after hearing about his retirement ... and possibly a few umpires too !”