Worcestershire fast bowler Matthew Mason has announced his immediate retirement from professional cricket, ending a ten-year spell on the playing staff at New Road.
He will remain with the county as a bowling coach, ending his first-class career with 314 wickets at an average of 26.91.
"It is with a great deal of pride and more than a hint of sadness that I have decided to retire from cricket with immediate effect," he said in a statement.
"The ongoing battle I have had with my shoulder, since a major operation in 2008, has finally taken its toll and has brought about this decision. I have had a career with Worcestershire that I am extremely proud of, and to try and extend it further while battling with injury would only do myself, my team-mates, and all our loyal supporters a great disservice.
"The decision to accept Tom Moody's offer to play cricket for Worcestershire back in 2001, after initially turning him down, has proven to be the right one as it is my tenth season as a Worcestershire cricketer. During this time I have managed just over 100 first-class games and more than 300 first-class wickets which after making the move from Australia to England I never thought I would achieve.
"Opportunities in one-day cricket during recent years have been few but back to back Lord's Finals in the C & G Trophy are amongst many memories I will cherish as a player.
"Worcestershire is a very special cricket club, run and supported by very special people, and I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my Worcestershire playing career. To the team-mates I have shared the field with a huge thank you to you, and I would also like to say a special thank you to Steve Rhodes for his constant encouragement and support particularly in recent seasons. His passion for cricket, especially the Club, is certainly shared by me and I look forward to now working with him as a coach.
"The past two seasons as a player / bowling coach have been very rewarding but now to have the full-time role of bowling coach presents me with a great challenge. The prospect of nurturing our current crop of talented young bowlers as well as unearthing future stars is exciting and I'm looking forward to contributing to Worcestershire's future success, only now it won't be with the ball in my hand."
Rhodes added: "Matt has been a very dedicated player, his enthusiasm for the game was there until the very end. I am sure that he will approach his coaching career in the same manner."
© Cricket World 2011