Ronnie Irani To Retire Due To Injuries
Essex captain Ronnie Irani has announced that he will be retiring at the end of the 2007 season due to continued knee problems which will, in his own words, prevent him playing a 'meaningful role' in the future.
Essex had offered him a two-year contract extension which Irani refused:
"The offer was wonderful but my right-knee condition is so acute that I would be kidding everyone if I accepted it. Since I gave up bowling in 2003 my batting has really come on but my deteriorating health means that there is no realistic chance of me playing a meaningful role in the 2008 or 2009 seasons," he said in a statement released today.
He went on to pay tribute to the Essex club and outline his goals for the rest of the season:
"I’d like to thank all the Essex members, supporters and the Committee who have been wholly behind me and given me everything I’ve ever dreamed of. As a young man you want to make your way in the game as a professional cricketer and although I was fortunate enough to play for England my heart and soul lies with Essex County Cricket Club for what they have done for me.
“I’d like to finish this season as Captain in the games that I can. Although I’m not going to be able to fulfil all the matches because of my knee condition I want to be able to play as many one-day games and maybe a few Championship matches too. I have a duty to make sure that we are playing to the maximum and trying to win games in all circumstances.”
Jason Ratcliffe, Group Director-Cricket of the Professional Cricketers' Association was full of praise for Irani:
“Having played against Ronnie since the late 80's, firstly with his native Lancashire and now with Essex, he has certainly fulfilled the ambitions of every young cricketer and despite chronic injuries in recent years, he continues to perform at the highest level.
“Ronnie has proven to be a fine role model, setting exceptional standards of professionalism on and off the pitch at all levels.
“A valuable member of the PCA Cricket Advisory Group, the game will also lose a great character.”
Irani played 3 Test matches and 31 one-day internationals, but it is with Essex that he has enjoyed his greatest successes. He has scored over 13,000 first-class runs and over 7,700 one-day runs for the county.