Sussex faded away passively last night in their T20 quarter-final with Notts. They were missing a couple of guns in Prior and Dwayne Smith, and there was an unfamiliar little hole in the lower middle-order too. Robin Martin-Jenkins has slipped away to a better place.
RM-J was a name like no other, not just because of the famous - and rightly proud - father, but with its feel for the amateur days of decades past. There was something of the curate about him, and the Sussex faithful would sometimes serenade him with a chorus of 'RM-J my Lord' as he bustled in with his quicker-than-you-think medium pacers.
So fittingly he has gone to a higher calling, retiring mid-season to take up a place as a geography and religious studies teacher at Hurstpierpoint college on the Sussex Downs. There, his anachronistic life will continue: Hurstpierpoint is one of those schools that only really exist in England. Each Ascension Day, every member of the college climbs a nearby hill and at the top gather together to sing Hymnus Eucharisticus, a big hit in the 17th century. At Christmas, there's a boar's head feast, the boar carried through cloisters as the choir sing Caput Apri Defero, a big hit in the 15th century. The school has performed a Shakespeare play every year since 1854.
In all it sounds quite a lot like a county dressing room, albeit with slightly different songs and more Shakespeare. It's somehow comforting that RM-J will see out his days there, a man gloriously out of time.
From the desk of Darren Lehmann?
3 days ago