It is always sad when a county favourite is released, although there was an inevitability about that of David Wainwright, which was announced today.
He had been a peripheral figure this season, struggling to recover from a pre-season injury which ultimately caused form to be elusive. His last appearance, which even at the time appeared a farewell, was against the Australians and his batting was, as ever, dogged.
The truth is that David always was a battler, a 'nuggety cricketer', as I have heard him described. There was a touch of the Fred Swarbrooks about the way in which he got his head down and tried to save a losing cause, but the harsh reality was that he perhaps didn't score the runs that his talent deserved.
As for his bowling, he never recaptured the form of that golden summer of 2012, when he won us matches, shut an end up as required and, crucially, gave balance to the side. He lost the control of that summer and seemed less able to bowl the maidens that are so useful to a captain whose seamers are going around the park.
More importantly, he didn't take wickets when he was expected to do so. At Southport, in favourable conditions, he was outbowled by Matt Critchley and then struggled to take wickets in second team cricket.
It was all very sad and inevitable. We seem set to go with Tom Knight and Critchley next summer, both of who crucially have time on their side but a lot of learning to do.
David Wainwright will doubtless score runs and take wickets in club cricket for many years to come, while supporters will remember his contribution to that title of 2012 and the 'magic ball' in last year's RLODC that set him off on something approximating a lap of honour of the County Ground.
He was a good cricketer and always gave of his best.
You can't ask for more.