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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 May, 2004, 12:41 GMT 13:41 UK
Hussain quits cricket
Nasser Hussain
I was willing to fight my age, against oppositions and people who were writing me off - but not against youth
Nasser Hussain
Former England captain Nasser Hussain has retired from Test and first-class cricket with immediate effect.

The 36-year-old announced his decision at Lord's only three days after scoring a match-winning century in the first Test against New Zealand.

He said: "It has been a major decision for me and it has been a gradual thing that has happened over months.

"I have been thinking about when was the time to go and on Sunday I decided the time was right to go."

Hussain, who was on the verge of tears as he revealed his decision, added: "Age has been catching up on me a little, the body, the fire in the stomach and the eyes have started to deteriorate a bit as well.

"I was willing to fight that and I was willing to fight against opposition players but I was not willing to fight against youth in the form of Andrew Strauss."

Strauss had come into the side at Lord's and hit a century on his debut with captain Michael Vaughan missing the match through injury.

HUSSAIN'S CAREER
TESTS
5,764 runs in 96 matches, average 37.18, 14x100, 33x50, highest score 207, 67 catches
ODIs
2,332 runs in 88 matches, average 30.28, 1x100, 16x50, highest score 115, 40 catches
FIRST-CLASS
20,698 runs in 334 matches, average 42.06, 52x100, 108x50, highest score 207,
350 catches
But with Vaughan ready to resume his place, Hussain's decision will make life easier for the selectors.

Hussain said: "I'm emotional because it's a big day in my life to give up the game of cricket but it's not because I am sad.

"I would have loved to have played 100 caps but not for the statistic."

"By Sunday I decided my time was up. Monday was an incredible day. Monday clarified my thoughts. A lot of good things happened to me and I just think it was a great day for me.

"It's slightly selfish. I don't like going in the middle of a series but if I'd carried on I believe things would have got messy. At the moment things are clean and clear-cut."

He said he had enjoyed "hitting his favourite shot" - a cover-drive - to win the Test match on Monday.

Hussain had revealed his thoughts to England coach Duncan Fletcher and captain Michael Vaughan before announcing his decision to the media.

He said: "I spoke to Duncan. He was adamant that I should go out in the way I deserved. He did not say 'No Nasser I want you to stay,' none of the selectors did that, nor did the captain."

Hussain, who also leaves Essex after a 14-year career there, said there were a number of other young batsmen in England doing well.

"There are a few other players too like (Rob) Key, (Ian) Bell, (Ian) Ward, (Scott) Newman - a few are getting runs and warrant consideration.

Nasser Hussain
Hussain finished on a high with a century at Lord's
Hussain finished by thanking everyone involved at Essex "I've been there since I was eight" and "everyone at the England and Wales Cricket Board."

He called Fletcher "an absolutely great man" and also thanked his father, Joe.

Hussain captained England in 45 of his 96 Tests before stepping down in favour of Michael Vaughan last year.

England won 17 Tests under his leadership, a total exceeded only by Peter May (20) and Mike Brearley (18).

Hussain scored 5,764 Test runs at an average of 37.18 during an England career which began on the 1990 tour to the West Indies.

He made 14 centuries and 33 fifties, with a highest score of 207 against Australia in Edgbaston in 1997.


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Nasser Hussain
"Age has been catching up with me"




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