DORCHESTER all-rounder Dan Belt has confirmed his decision to retire from playing cricket, insisting it is the “right time” to hang up his spikes.

Belt, who is 32 this year, has enjoyed a sparkling 22-year career with Dorset, Weymouth and latterly Dorchester.

Having come up through the youth ranks at the Seasiders, Belt was an integral part of the Weymouth side that won the Dorset Premier League in the mid-2000s.

He then switched across the Ridgeway to Dorchester where the county town won the Premier League in 2008 before conquering Dorset’s highest tier for a third time this summer.

Belt’s success at club level handed him a rare chance to represent Dorset and in 2006 he played in the MCCA Knockout Trophy final at Lord’s, where Northumberland beat his side by eight wickets.

Explaining his decision to retire, increased family commitments formed a large part of Belt’s reasoning.

He told Echosport: “I’m 32 this year – I know that doesn’t seem old but I’ve had 22 years now playing cricket. Obviously it has its tolls on your body.

“Especially when you have a family you do spend long days away.

“With another little one due in February it felt like the right decision, especially with winning the league and going out on a high like that. I just felt it was the right time to do it.”

Belt believes representing his county stands among his greatest achievements.

“Being picked to play Minor Counties is a massive thing, especially for Dorset players,” he admitted.

“You don’t really get recognised like the other counties do. Playing a Lord’s final and getting selected for that is everyone’s dream. The result didn’t go our way but it was one of those experiences I’ll never forget.

“Winning three Premier League titles is up there as well.”

Expanding on the Lord’s showpiece, where Belt took 0-37 off six overs and scored four runs, the all-rounder conceded he had a tinge of regret.

Asked what it was like to play at the home of English cricket, he said: “It’s amazing, you walk in there and (the grass) is like a carpet.

“Obviously it’s nowhere near the big crowds but the atmosphere is electric and I was only 18 as well.

“As you get older you know your game. It would be nice if I was a few years older, I felt like I could’ve contributed a lot more and taken it in a lot better.

“But it’s an experience you never turn down and it’ll probably never happen again. One of their blokes hit 97 not out and won them the game.”

Belt also paid credit to Weymouth for affording him the opportunity to learn his craft.

“The Premier League back then was very strong,” he said. “You had very good teams and very good players.

“To come into a team like that, they took you on as one of your own, looked after you – especially being the youngster.

“That was amazing and to win as we did was an experience in itself.”

On his time at Dorchester, Belt added: “Weymouth started to peter out and weren’t really going anywhere, so myself and Paul Tweddle from Bridport made the move.

“It was one of those seasons where everything clicked and we were lucky enough to win the league when we all came together.

“It’s been a tough 11 years (since) and to have the real lows and to win it this season was amazing. I’m more happy for the club.

“I see what they do on and off the pitch, especially with the All Stars. Winning the Premier League for a club is a massive thing. For Dorchester, who are trying to get county cricket back, helps that situation as well.”

Belt also represented the West of England where he ventured on a Caribbean tour and also played against future England aces Jason Roy, Adil Rashid and Adam Lyth.

The former Dorset man also wished to thank former Weymouth youth coach and player Hugh Lawes and all involved at Dorchester in his 11-year stint at the club.