Shaun Udal Announces Retirement
Hampshire Cricket will seem strange next season without Shaun Udal, a popular, competitive and larger-than-life character who joined the staff back in 1987 and made his first-class debut as a 20-year-old two years later.
Now 38, the canny off-spinner from Cove, near Farnborough, played for the county in three Lord's finals, all ending in victory, and two years ago became the only Hampshire-born player to captain his home county in a one-day final at the famous old ground.
At the end of that memorable 2005 season Udal also became the first Hampshire-born Hampshire player to appear in Test cricket for England since 1896 and, at the time, only the third ever to do so.
That belated Test call-up - he played four matches in all - came 11 years after making the first of 11 appearances in one-day internationals.
Udal totalled 260 first-class matches in a long career and took 724 wickets, including 33 five-wicket hauls and 10 in a match four times. His best figures were 8-50 against Sussex at Southampton in 1992.
A hard-hitting lower middle-order batsman, he finished with 6761 runs, hitting 28 half-centuries. His only Hampshire hundred was an unbeaten 117 against Warwickshire at Southampton a decade ago.
In the one-day game, he took 418 wickets and scored 2556 runs.
Hampshire through and through, Shaun Udal was capped in 1992 and was awarded a richly-deserved benefit in 2002.
Udal commented, “After 21 fantastic seasons at the best cricket club in the world, I've decided with a heavy heart to retire. I have enjoyed every single moment of my time at Hampshire and feel very privileged to have played with and against, some of the great players. My favourite three over the years would have to be Shane Warne, Malcolm Marshall and Robin Smith. Everyone's time comes to an end at some stage and this way I am going out when I want to, and when people still remember me as being a decent player.
My favourite moment in the game was becoming the first Hampshire born captain to win a trophy for the Club and that eclipses everything else I've achieved, narrowly ahead of my 4-14 for England against India. I am proud to have taken more one-day wickets than anyone else who has ever played for the Club and together with over 700 first class wickets and 10,000 runs I feel very happy with my contribution over my twenty one seasons.
I will miss it enormously, especially my team mates and the dressing room fun but I'm going out with my head held high and I can now concentrate on being a proper dad to my three adorable children and a decent husband to my long suffering wife Emma.
Thank you to everyone for helping me enjoy my time in the game, especially my parents for starting me on the way. I will be around next season hosting the corporate boxes and hospitality and I’m looking forward to that. Hampshire cricket has been my life and I will miss it so much but the time has come to go and I look forward to the future. I would like to thank Hampshire’s fans for all their support during my career with the Club.”
© Hampshire Cricket