James Bruce Announces His Retirement From Hampshire

James Bruce has announced his retirement from professional cricket to pursue a career in The City. Born in Hammersmith, London on December 17th 1979, he showed his enthusiasm for cricket and natural ability at an early age. He played in the Eton 1st XI during his formative school years at Eton College, and went on to represent Durham UCCE while studying in higher education. Bruce signed for Hampshire in 2003 making his 1st XI Championship debut against Somerset. A right-arm fast-medium bowler and right-handed batsman, Bruce was acknowledged for his exceptional control and his intuitive cricketing brain. Bruce was dedicated to developing his skills and gaining experience by playing overseas during English winters. He played for the Balmain Tigers in Sydney between 2002 – 2003 and for South Perth CC between 2003 and 2005. Bruce tasted success with the victorious Hampshire squad which won the C&G Trophy at Lord’s in 2005. He also enjoyed a strong season in 2006, taking a career best 5-43 against champions Nottinghamshire at The Rose Bowl, to the delight of home supporters. In August 2006, he demonstrated real skill and confidence against a touring West Indies ‘A’ side returning figures of 7-2-14-3. Bruce was awarded his county cap at the end of his successful 2006 season. Bruce famously acknowledged his worst cricketing moment was having his box split in half when facing Australian fast bowler Michael Kasprowicz at The Rose Bowl. James Bruce issued the following statement about his decision to retire: “The decision to retire from professional cricket has been a decision that I have not made lightly. I have been gaining work experience in the city over the last three winters with the intention of developing a career for when I had finished playing. Whilst initially I didn’t know when that might be, I was always conscious of the importance of preparing for life after cricket. The recent work that I have done this winter has made me realise that the transition from sport into the working world is not as easy a process as I originally thought. I have thoroughly enjoyed the work I have been doing and became aware that the longer I left this transition the harder it would be for me to secure a career in exactly what I wanted to do. I have been offered a fantastic job at ABN Amro Bank which is too good an opportunity to let pass by, and am looking forward to starting my new career with them. I am very proud to have been part of Hampshire Cricket for the last five years. I am extremely appreciative of the support the club and the members have shown me not only over my time on the staff there but also over the years as a youngster. I would particularly like to thank Bruce Reid, Patrick Farhart, Andrew Nealon, Iain Brunnschweiller, Paul Terry and John Ayling who I have worked especially closely with over the years. Most of all I would like to wish all the lads the best of luck for the coming season. I have been in touch with all of them over the last week informing them of my decision and have been overwhelmed by their kind words and the support that they have shown me. I will be following the club’s progress closely over the season and look forward to coming back down to The Rose Bowl to see everyone.” Team Manager Paul Terry commented from Perth on Bruce’s announcement: “Over the last few years Brucey has put an enormous amount of work into getting his body and mind into a position where he has proved a formidable opponent for opposition batters. It’s not an exaggeration to say, in the right conditions, he has become one of the better English-born bowlers. Having witnessed the work he put into his fitness in Perth in the early years, it always gave me a sense of pride to see how well his career had developed – a sentiment shared, no doubt, by all those who have helped him along the way. His retirement into The City and the timing of the decision will leave a massive hole to fill for the club. Apart from his ability as a bowler he has always displayed really good qualities as a person. There is no doubt he will be missed. Knowing James I am sure he has made the decision with a heavy heart as he has put so much into the quality of cricket that we have played lately. It’s a brave decision and one which I wish him the very best of luck with.” Director of Cricket, Tim Tremlett stated: “Whether playing for one of our age group teams or the First XI, James has always given 100%. He has developed into being an extremely good opening bowler, highly regarded by batsmen across the country, and his determination and enthusiasm will be sorely missed.” Hampshire Chairman Rod Bransgrove made the following comment: “The Bruce family have a strong association with Hampshire cricket, with three of James’s brothers playing for Hampshire youth teams in their time. James has made a valued contribution to Hampshire, developing his natural ability and playing five seasons with the 1st XI squad. Although the timing of his announcement has taken us by surprise, he will be genuinely missed both as a player and as a person. Well respected as a player by his team mates, James was also regarded by all at The Rose Bowl as a genuinely sincere and thoughtful person. Whilst disappointed at the loss of home-grown talent, we all wish him every success and happiness in his new career.” © Hampshire CCC
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