DateLine: 30th June 2009
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has urged the next generation of players to take up the mantle of delivering a winning England side as he confirmed his retirement. The ECB confirmed the 34-year-old's decision ahead of a scheduled press conference at Edgbaston.
Vaughan who was the skipper when England rolled over Australia last time at home four years back, tried hard to regain form and fitness in time to play in the Ashes 2009. But he was eluded by both form and fitness and the Yorkshire batsman accepted the inevitable.
"After a great deal of consideration, I've decided that now is the right time to retire from cricket.
"It has been an enormous privilege to have played for and captained my country and this is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make.
"Having played almost non-stop for 16 seasons, I feel the time is right for the focus to shift to the next generation.
"We have some fantastic talent coming through the English counties and, with the next Ashes series upon us, now is the time for the younger players to rise to the challenge of building on the success achieved in English cricket in the last few years."
On the backing that he enjoyed during his stint as England skipper Vaughan was especially thankful to the ECB and its members.
"I'd like to record my sincere thanks to the England fans and the ECB and the members and supporters of Yorkshire County Cricket Club for their unstinting backing throughout my career, as well as my wife Nicola and the rest of my family who have been equally supportive.
"I'm also extremely grateful to all the players, managers, coaches, media and administrators I've worked with, who have all contributed to making my career so enjoyable and fulfilling.
"I'd also like to wish Andrew Strauss and the current England team success in this Ashes series. I know they have the drive, ambition and abilities to repeat the success from 2005. Winning that series was most definitely the high point of my career."
Michael Strauss also spoke on the occasion and paid glowing tributes to Vaughan.
"I count Michael as a good friend as well as a team-mate and I know what a tough decision this will have been for him as he took so much pleasure and pride in representing his country.
"I learned a great deal from watching him captain the side for five years at close hand and his ability to identify a new strategy for outwitting the opposition, or bring the best out of his own players was a priceless asset.
"But more than anything we as players will miss the enormous sense of fun and enjoyment that Michael brought to the dressing room.
"He will be missed by everyone connected with the team and we wish him every success in his future career."
Speaking about Vaughan, ECB chief executive David Collier said: "Everyone associated with cricket in England and Wales will be forever grateful to Michael Vaughan for his immense contribution to the England team's success.
"His achievement in leading England to victory against the number one ranked team in the world, Australia in 2005, was arguably the finest by any England captain in the modern era."
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