Yorkshire seamer Ryan Sidebottom has announced his decision to retire from all forms of cricket at the end of the 2017 season.
The iconic swing bowler will call time on his 20-year career at the end of the current Specsavers County Championship season with more than 1,000 career wickets to his name.
Having played a pivotal role in England winning the T20 World Cup in 2010, Sidebottom is the only player in the last 15 years to win five County Championships – with Yorkshire in 2001, 2014 and 2015 and with Nottinghamshire in 2005 and 2010.
“There’s a tear in my eye whenever I think about not playing professional cricket again – a game that’s given me so much over the years,” he said. “But it’s the right time and I want to go out on a high, rather than fade away as that’s just not the sort of guy I am.
“I’ve always tried to play with a smile on my face and give 110% because I absolutely love this sport. It’s been an honour to represent my home county, Yorkshire, play for my country and help make history at Nottinghamshire. I couldn’t have asked for better team-mates and they’ve helped me become the cricketer I am today."
Martyn Moxon, Director of Cricket at Yorkshire County Cricket Club, said: “He’s been a fantastic servant to Yorkshire, Notts and England over the years. 20 years as a fast bowler is a remarkable achievement.
"He can be very proud of what he has achieved in cricket, an unprecedented level of success – it has been a fantastic career and he will be going out at the top.
"My thanks go to him for everything he’s done for Yorkshire cricket and since he came back to us we’ve had some excellent success and he’s been a major part of it.
“From my point of view in dealing with Ryan, he’s a gentleman off the field – a bit of a gentle giant, but on it fiercely competitive, proud and he’s obviously going to be missed on the playing side of things.
"However, I hope we can keep him involved in a mentoring capacity going forward, as he has a lot to offer to the young fast bowlers in particular.
“There’s no doubt that Ryan is highly motivated to finish on a high. He’ll want to have a good season and will want the team to have a good season, so that should really put fear into batsman rather than them think he will be a bit easier to face.”