Ballymena Cricket Club has been dealt a blow with news that former Ireland batsman David Kennedy is to retire from the sport.
Just weeks after his brother Robert also announced plans to step down, David also confirmed that his outstanding career had come to an end.
The news was not totally unexpected; David had suffered a complicated finger fracture in the first match of the season and even though he returned in July to help Ballymena avoid relegation, it was clear the injury was still affecting him, particularly in the field.
David was product of a top-class Ballymena Academy side, coached by Clive Jackson, which dominated Ulster schools’s cricket in the late 80s and early 90s.
He went on to make his name in Scottish Universities cricket and when he returned home in 1998, both he and Ballymena had a remarkable season of success. Ballymena won the NCU Senior League (now the Premier League) for the first and only time and David Kennedy topped the NCU batting averages.
Since then David has been one of the best batsmen in Irish cricket. He was a tough competitor on the field but never lost his reputation for sportsmanship and has become a highly respected figure in Ulster cricket.
Strangely he was selected only once for Ireland with many cricket observers felt that his principled stance in not playing Sunday cricket meant that he did not get a “fair crack of the whip” with selectors.