Croft calls it a day
Glamorgan spinner Robert Croft has announced he will retire from professional cricket at the end of the season.
The former England international, who represented his country in 21 Tests and 50 one-day internationals, will bring down the curtain on a sensational 23-year career after his county’s LV= County Championship clash with promotion-chasing Kent next week.
The 42-year-old will continue his affiliation with Glamorgan by taking on a coaching and ambassadorial role at the club.
Croft, currently in his testimonial year at the SWALEC Stadium, has featured in 408 and 406 first-class and one-day matches, taking 1168 and 411 wickets, as well as snaring 87 scalps in 88 Twenty20s.
In 2010, Croft created history by becoming the first Glamorgan player and ninth in the post-war era to achieve the 1,000-wicket, 10,000-run double in county cricket on the second day of their championship match against Leicestershire.
He said: "It's finally dawning on me that my career is coming to an end.
"It's unbelievable how quickly time has passed since from 1985 when I first walked into the Glamorgan environment as a teenager followed by my debut at the Oval in 1989; to think that it is the best part of 30 years is incredible.
"I count myself lucky to have played as long as I have and I'm grateful for the support I have received over the years from team-mates, coaches and most importantly from my family and friends.
"I don't think I could have had the career I have had without such a supportive family. I owe a lot to my parents, Susan and Malcolm, my grandparents, my wife Marie and children Callum and Kara Beth.
"They have been there throughout my cricketing career, providing encouragement in the difficult times and a sense of level headedness in the good times. What's more my friends around me, those in the game and in the media have also all helped give me the motivation to keep on playing the game.
"I'm also lucky to have played with so many wonderful players for both Glamorgan and England with whom I've shared so many experiences, both good and bad. Those experiences will stay with me.
"I'm pleased to end my career with a home match against Kent at the SWALEC next week, but when I walk up those stairs for the last time as a player, I will be emotional, there's sure to be a tear in my eye.”
Glamorgan chief executive Alan Hamer added: “Although this announcement draws the curtain on a truly remarkable playing career, it also signals the start of a new chapter in Robert's life.
"Robert's playing record speaks for itself and I hope that large numbers of spectators will attend next week's match against Kent, to give him the send-off he deserves.
"With Robert's playing career drawing to a close, the club have spent the past few weeks working with Robert to determine the most effective way in which his skills and experience can be best utilised.
"We are therefore delighted that Robert will now remain with the club in a coaching and ambassadorial role which will now not only see him help with the development of our younger players but also working to raise the profile of Glamorgan and Welsh Cricket."