Ireland off-spinner Albert van der Merwe has announced his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect, despite only making his debut in 2010.
An effective bowler in both four and one-day cricket, he took 28 first-class wickets at an average of 15.35 with a best return of six for 27 including a match haul of 11 for 68 against Kenya in Mombasa in 2012.
In all he played seven first-class games, 11 One-Day Internationals and three other one-day games for Ireland.
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"Retiring has been a difficult decision to make as I feel I still have plenty to offer, but the increased demands as the team became more professional made it very difficult for a part-timer like myself," South Afican-born van der Merwe explained.
"The standard the squad have set for ourselves is very high and I felt that ultimately my work and cricket would suffer as it's impossible to commit to either 100 per cent."
He added: "It has been an unbelievable privilege to pull on the Irish shirt, being part of a special bunch of lads over the last two and a half years.
"It's been an honour to play alongside guys who will undoubtedly go down as legends of Irish cricket - being part of some memorable moments along the way is something I'll always treasure.
"It has been said so many times, but the pride in representing Ireland and the commitment towards each other is what defines this team from any sports team I've been part of, and that will stay with me. I've enjoyed every moment and it's good to look back and be able to say that I did put my hand up in a few games, doing the job I was picked to do.
"I've learned a lot along the way, working with top coaches in different parts of the world and it is great to be able to pass some of that on to younger players. I wish the lads all the best with a big year coming up and some crucial qualification games."
While he has ended his time playing international cricket, he will continue as captain of his club, YMCA, and his work with his Cricket Academy business.
© Cricket World 2013
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