Australia batsman Damien Martyn has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.
Martyn has had a tough time in the last two Ashes
The 35-year-old told Cricket Australia of his surprise decision just before they were due to announce the squad for the third Ashes Test.
He indicated he no longer had the motivation to perform at his best.
Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland confirmed Martyn would have kept his place despite scoring only 45 runs in three innings in the first two games.
Martyn, who scored 4,406 Test runs in 67 appearances at an average of 46.37, said he was fully aware of the "tremendous challenges facing Australian cricket" during the Ashes series.
But he continued: "Such challenges require people who are more than 100% committed, dedicated, disciplined and passionate about the game, what it seeks to achieve and how those involved in the game can best serve cricket, sport and the wider community.
"I said to myself when I made this decision in the last 48 hours that I may lose friends in doing what I'm doing.
"But I also said to myself that if I stayed doing what I was doing I may equally lose respect for myself and the friendship of those around me who are entitled to expect from me more than 100%."
Australia captain Ricky Ponting paid tribute to Martyn's contribution to the success of the team in both Test and one-day cricket, describing him as "one of the world's most unsung players".
He said: "It is obviously something Damien has thought long and hard about and I know that I and all of the other members of the team will miss him greatly.
"I don't think it is really understood how good a player he actually is. He is one of those players who, as the conditions and situations got harder and more difficult, the better he became and I know I will miss his influence on the Australian team."
His place in the squad for the third Ashes Test, which starts on 14 December in Perth, has been taken by uncapped 27-year-old batsman Adam Voges.
Martyn, from Western Australia, was arguably the most stylish batsman in the national team.
But he was dropped from it on a number of occasions during his career, the first time after a loose shot against South Africa in Sydney in January 1994, when Australia failed to reach a target of 117 and were beaten by six runs.
He had to wait more than six years for another chance and made the most of it by hitting the first of 13 Test centuries at Edgbaston on the 2001 Ashes tour.
His career took another downturn in 2005 when he managed only one half century as Australia lost the Ashes in England, but returned for the tour to South Africa at the start of this year and made 101 in the final Test in Johannesburg as Australia completed a 3-0 whitewash.
Martyn was also a prolific one-day batsman, scoring 5,346 runs from 208 matches at an average of 40, with five hundreds and 37 fifties.
Martyn's bravery helped Australia lift the World Cup in 2003
He scored an unbeaten 88 as Australia beat India in the 2003 World Cup final despite batting with a broken finger and recently played a leading role as they won the ICC Champions Trophy with two half centuries and an unbeaten 47 in the final against West Indies.
"Damien's decision has come as a surprise to us but I fully respect his decision to retire on his terms," said Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive.
"I got a very clear indication from him that his decision was absolutely final and that he had been thinking about it for a little bit of time.
"I can tell from the tone of his voice and the thought processes in getting to where he's at that there's no point in talking to him further. He wanted to make that decision independent of all other factors and we respect that."
Former Australia captain Ian Chappell said he respected Martyn for the timing of his decision.
"You don't have to be Einstein to know that the Australian selectors are going to want to make the side younger pretty soon and he probably felt he was near the top of the list of guys to go," he said.
"The fact he has got a home Test coming up, that Australia is probably going to win the Ashes back - all those reasons make it tougher and all the more reason to admire him for it."