Ex-England opener Butcher retires

LOONDON: Former England opening batsman Mark Butcher on Thursday announced his retirement from cricket with immediate effect after failing to recover fully from an ongoing knee problem.

Surrey captain Butcher, 36, played 71 Tests between 1997 and 2004, and will be remembered for his match-winning 173 not out against Australia at Headingley in 2001.

Butcher, who played just five county championship matches this season, captained England on one occasion, standing in for Nasser Hussain against New Zealand in 1999, but was never selected for a one-day international.

He last played for England in 2005 after making 4,288 Test runs at an average of 34.58.

Butcher said: "Headingley was certainly the high point of my England career.

"It pushed me into being a proper England player, someone who was renowned for that and who was England's number three for that period.

"But I still think that my favourite moment was winning that first championship with Surrey in 1999, with a team of guys who were pretty much my mates from when I was going to schoo