Former England Captain Vaughan to Retire
Tuesday, 30 June 2009

England's most successful test captain Michael Vaughan said on Tuesday he was retiring from the game, after failing to regain his place in the team for next month's Ashes series against Australia.

"It has been a hard decision," Vaughan, 34, told a news conference at Edgbaston.

"The decision came to me two weeks ago. I thought about it in December but I wanted to give myself one last chance of playing against Australia but I haven't been playing well enough and my body is not reacting how I would like it to be."

Vaughan, who has been troubled by a chronic knee injury, has not played for his country since resigning as captain last year and passed 50 only three times in 22 innings for Yorkshire.

He was forced to leave the field frequently to rest his troubled knee, raising fresh doubts about his ability to last a five-day test.

"I knew it was time to go when I played cricket in the back garden with my three-year-old son Archie and he bowled me with a ball that hit a weed and clipped my off stump," Vaughan said.

Vaughan made his test debut for England during the 1999-2000 tour of South Africa and quickly established himself in the team, scoring his maiden test century in 2001 against Pakistan.

However, the knee injuries that were to plague his career surfaced in 2001 and he was ruled out of the entire home Ashes series that was won convincingly by Australia.

After more knee problems he returned in time for the 2002-03 Ashes series in Australia, making 177 on the first day of the second test in Adelaide, 183 in Sydney and 145 in Melbourne, knocks that helped him to rise to the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) batting rankings.


In July 2003 Vaughan took over the England captaincy from Nasser Hussain, beginning what was to become the most successful reign of an England skipper with a 2-2 home draw with South Africa despite his own lack of form with the bat.

Vaughan led by example in Sri Lanka later that year when he batted for seven-and-a-half hours to score 105, his first test century as captain and an innings that enabled England to save the second test in Kandy.

He then led England to their first series victory in the West Indies for 30 years before eight straight test wins in 2004. But the moment that defined his captaincy of England came in 2005 when he outsmarted opposite number Ricky Ponting to win back the Ashes.

"The Ashes in 2005 was very, very special but the build-up to that in the two years before was just as special because we had to make the team into a winning unit," Vaughan said on Tuesday. "Australia in 2005 was the pinnacle."

Not only were his leadership skills acclaimed during England's first series win against the Australians since 1987 but he scored vital runs, particularly 166 in the drawn match at Old Trafford, the highest individual score in the series.

It proved to be the highlight of Vaughan's captaincy as his suspect knee required more surgery and he played no part two years later when Australia gained revenge with a 5-0 whitewash of England with Andrew Flintoff as stand-in skipper.

"I want to be remembered as someone who gave my all, who left everything out there," Vaughan said.

"Someone who was hopefully a nice player to watch, and when I was captain I wanted my team to be determined and aggressive and who enjoyed their cricket, which is how I played when I was at my best.


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