Blackwell calls it a day
Durham have confirmed former England all-rounder Ian Blackwell has retired from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.
A powerful batsman and canny left-arm spinner, Blackwell enjoyed consistent success on the domestic circuit after making his debut for home county Derbyshire in 1997.
He went on to represent Somerset with distinction and subsequently excelled at Durham before a loan move saw him help Warwickshire to LV= County Championship glory last summer.
Blackwell also represented England in 34 one-day internationals from 2002 to 2006, together with a solitary Test against India in Nagpur a month before his final ODI cap.
However, he has now been forced to quit following a third operation on his troublesome left shoulder. The 34-year-old aims to stay in the sport as a professional umpire.
“It is with sadness that I have had to make the decision to retire from the professional game,” said Blackwell.
“I have had 16 incredible years as a professional cricketer and had the great honour of representing my country which is the pinnacle of any sportsman’s career.
“I was lucky enough to play my cricket with four fantastic counties and I have loved every minute.
“I look forward to the next stage of my career and hope to forge a path as a professional umpire and give something back to a sport that has given me so much.
“I would like to thank everyone at Durham, Somerset, Derbyshire and Warwickshire as well as the ECB and PCA and look forward to staying involved in the game in the future.”
Durham head coach Geoff Cook added: “I would like to say a big thanks to Ian for his contributions to Durham Cricket over the last few seasons.
“(He was) a player with immense talent, who made some outstanding match-winning contributions.
“It can’t be easy for any player to finish his career due to injury and not be able to do so on the pitch.
“(We wish) a huge good luck to Blackie as he moves onto his next career hopefully within the game.”