It was not ideal timing for Bookaar opener Rohan Symes.
The former Pelicans captain had been in a rich vein of form, having already surpassed last summer’s runs total after just four Twenty20 matches, but a back concern in his fifth game ruled him out for the final T20 and this week’s first one-dayer against Heytesbury Rebels.
Symes had a delayed start to last season after an operation on a disc in his spine, but thought his injury woes were behind him.
“I’m just waiting to get an MRI on my back, just to see what’s going on in there,” he said. “Hopefully it might just be a bit of a muscle spasm. I just took off for a single – it was just out of the blue.
“A couple of balls later I went out. I probably should’ve retired hurt.
“But I’m enjoying playing at the moment, so it’s frustrating having to miss games.”
Last summer, as a second-year captain, Symes struggled to get going with the bat. He made 125 runs from 11 innings, with three ducks and an average of 13.89 batting in the middle order.
But opening the batting with Eddie Lucas in shortest form of the game this summer has seen a vast improvement from Symes.
He has made 172 runs at an average of 43, including a high score of 84 not out against Camperdown, to lead South West Cricket’s runs tally.
Symes said new Pelicans captain Simon Baker’s and coach Deiter McDonald’s faith in him has helped him get back to his best, along with a better pre-season.
His move to the top of the order, however, came as a bit of a surprise.
“T20 cricket is not something I thought would’ve suited my style of cricket, so to speak,” Symes said. “I’ve never been a flourishing run-scorer.
“I pushed myself down the order when I was captain, but I’m enjoying being at the top.
“I certainly enjoyed the captaincy, there’s no doubt about that … but I was pretty happy to relinquish the job and concentrate on my own game. I feel a lot freer this year at the crease, a lot more relaxed.”