Former England, Hampshire and Middlesex off-spinner Shaun Udal has announced his decision to retire from first-class cricket.
He has called an end to a 22-year career, in which he represented Hampshire for 19 seasons, winning four limited-overs trophies before coming out of an initial retirement in 2007 to sign for Middlesex.
He played four Tests and 11 One-Day Internationals for his country, memorably taking four for 14 against India in Mumbai to help England square the series in 2006.
He won the 2008 T20 Cup with Middlesex, taking over as captain at the end of that year, a role he relinquished in 2010.
“I am extremely lucky to have played the game I love for such a long period of time. Cricket has been extremely good to me and I have enjoyed every moment I have spent in the game," Udal said.
"I have played with and against some great cricketers and characters, and treasure the moments I spent playing with and competing against these men. I have many good friends in cricket and hope to continue to enjoy their company. It is obviously a sad day – waving goodbye to something very special is always difficult - but I look forward to getting stuck in to the next chapter of my life.”
Angus Fraser, Middlesex County Cricket Club’s Managing Director of Cricket, added:
“On behalf of everyone at Middlesex CCC I would like to thank Shaun for all the hard work and commitment he put in during his three years at the club. When Shaun took over as Middlesex captain he inherited a fractured dressing room and morale was low.
"During the two years he captained Middlesex Shaun successfully pulled the team closer together and the dressing room is now a far happier and united place. He has handed over to Neil Dexter a club in far better shape than the one he inherited.
"Shaun leaves the game with a record to be very proud of. He represented his country and won domestic silverware with the two clubs he played for, and that is what playing sport at the highest level is all about. In the 2008 t20 Final he showed what a canny and skilful bowler he was, taking 1-21 in four overs in a match where more than nine runs per over were conceded.
"During his three years at Middlesex Shaun made many good friends and is highly respected by the club’s members and staff. We wish him well for the future and he will always be welcome at Lord’s.”
Udal finishes his first-class career with 822 wickets, and more than 11,000 runs in all competitions.
© Cricket World 2010