Hampshire's former England all-rounder Dimitri Mascarenhas has announced he will retire from county cricket at the end of the present campaign.
Born in London but raised in Australia, Mascarenhas represented England in 20 one-day internationals and 14 Twenty20s. The most memorable moment of his international career came at The Oval in September 2007, when he famously struck the last five balls of an ODI innings, bowled by Yuvraj Singh, for six.
He has picked up six domestic trophies, including last summer’s Friends Life t20, with Hampshire, his solitary club in a county career spanning 18 seasons.
However, the 35-year-old all-rounder has been troubled by an Achilles injury in recent years, which has severely limited his participation in championship cricket, and it is this that has prompted his decison to call it a day.
“It’s been the toughest decision of my life to call time on my career at Hampshire. I feel I have so much left, but my Achilles just isn’t up to it and, as a result, I have to retire,” Mascarenhas told Hampshire’s official website.
“I have had an amazing time here for 18 seasons; there have been many highs and lows, but one thing that has stayed constant is the guys I have played with. All have been tremendous talents and, more importantly, top blokes.
“I would like to thank (Hampshire chairman) Rod (Bransgrove), (manager) Giles (White) and pretty much all the staff for making my journey with Hampshire such an enjoyable one. I wish the club the best of luck in the future; I'm sure we have many more trophies on the way.”
Mascarenhas is the only member of the current playing squad at the Ageas Bowl to have represented Hampshire in the 20th century.
He will continue to lead the club this year in T20 cricket, a format in which he lays claim to two notable firsts.
Mascarenhas recorded the maiden T20 hat-trick, against Sussex in 2004, and was also the first English player to earn an Indian Premier League contract.
Bransgrove said: “Dimi has established himself as a true Hampshire icon and will be impossible to replace.
His uncomplicated style and positive manner have made him a huge influence in and around the dressing room and his passion and commitment to the cause ensured that he would always be a crowd favourite.
“Whilst we will all miss him, on both a personal and professional level, we must thank him for his amazing contribution to this club and wish him, his wife, Nadine and son Lenny every success and happiness in the future.”
White added: “When Dimi shared his intentions with his team-mates the changing room was a particularly sombre place.
“He has been an integral part of the club since he arrived in 1996 and will be remembered as one of the county’s most charismatic and influential players. His engaging and infectious personality will leave as much of a void off the pitch as on it.”