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Last Updated: Friday, 22 July, 2005, 10:40 GMT 11:40 UK
Thorpe announces Test retirement
Graham Thorpe
If England were 20-3, he was always a great person to have walking out to the crease
Alec Stewart on Graham Thorpe
England batsman Graham Thorpe has announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect.

The left-hander played his 100th Test against Bangladesh last month but was dropped for the opening match of the Ashes series against Australia.

"My partner is having a baby in the next couple of weeks and I have decided that I want to concentrate on my family life," the 35-year-old said.

Thorpe will continue playing county cricket for Surrey.

"I have enjoyed my time with England and have wished the team every success in this Ashes series. I am proud to have been part of this successful era in English cricket," he added.

The timing came as a surprise to some people who believed he could still have a part to play in the Ashes series.

Former England opener Geoff Boycott described the decision as "premature".

But Thorpe had already signalled that he was thinking about ending his international career by agreeing a deal to play and coach in Australia this winter, rather than make himself available for tours to Pakistan and India.

"Now he has announced his retirement the team has to move on, just like they did a few years ago when myself and Michael Atherton retired," said former Surrey and England team-mate Alec Stewart.

"It's down to people who have come in now like Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen."

The list of people paying tribute to Thorpe also included Pietersen, who described him as a "legend".

Pietersen said: "It's difficult for me to jump into his shoes and try and do what he's done.

"He's been fantastic, he's been awesome, he's been inspiring and it's been a pleasure watching him over the years."

Thorpe made his Test debut against Australia at Trent Bridge in 1993 and marked the occasion by scoring an unbeaten 114 in the second innings.

It was the first of 16 centuries he made for England, which included an innings of 200 not out against New Zealand at Christchurch three years ago.

Later that year he quit one-day internationals, admitting it was becoming increasingly difficult to for him to meet the physical demands of playing both forms of the game.

And following marital problems, he opted out of the 2002-03 Ashes tour to Australia.

He regained his Test place during the 2003 series against South Africa and was an ever present in the side until Pietersen was preferred to him for the current game against Australia at Lord's.

"Graham was one of the leading players of his generation and that is reflected by the fact that he has collected 100 caps.

"You can judge what a feat that is by looking at the list of other players who have reached that number of appearances," said chairman of selectors David Graveney.

"He will be remembered as a tenacious batsman who served England with great ability and great pride."

Interview: Graham Thorpe



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