Vaughan calls it a day

BIRMINGHAM: Former England captain Michael Vaughan announced his retirement from all professional cricket with immediate effect here today.

Vaughan, England’s most successful Test captain, has not played for his country since tearfully resigning the captaincy in August during the home series loss to South Africa. His career has been blighted in recent years by a knee injury and speculation about the

34-year-old’s future intensified after Vaughan failed to win a place in England’s squad for the Ashes series against Australia which starts next week in Cardiff.

Vaughan’s record as captain during his five year spell in charge from 2003-2008 of 26 victories, 11 defeats and 14 draws, make him England’s most successful skipper in terms of overall wins. England’s 2005 Ashes series win — which included a nailbiting two-run win at Edgbaston — was the crowning achievement of Vaughan’s time in charge of England, with his knee problem leaving him sidelined for months at a time.

Unsurprisingly, his form as a batsman — which had seen him touch the realms of greatness during the 2002/03 tour of Australia when he made 633 runs with three hundreds — also began to decline. Desperate for one last series against Australia, Vaughan vowed to regain his place but so far this season he has managed just 147 runs in seven County Championship innings for Yorkshire.

Meanwhile the emergence of Ravi Bopara, who this year has made hundreds in three successive Tests against the West Indies,

at No 3, also dented Vaughan’s hopes of a recall. Vaughan scored 5,719 Test runs in 82 matches at an average of 41.44 with 18 hundreds and a best of 197 against India at Trent Bridge in 2002.