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Last Updated: Saturday, 23 December 2006, 03:05 GMT
McGrath to retire after World Cup
Glenn McGrath
McGrath will end his career after the World Cup in April
Australia seam bowler Glenn McGrath will retire from international cricket after next year's World Cup.

His decision comes two days after Shane Warne said he would quit international cricket after the current Ashes series.

McGrath, who is 36, said playing his last Test on his home ground in Sydney next month would be a "fantastic end" to his Test career.

McGrath has taken 555 wickets in 122 Tests and is third on the all-time list behind Warne and Muttiah Muralitharan.

"Sydney will be my last Test match which will be a fantastic end for me because this is my home ground and my favourite ground in the world," McGrath told a news conference in Melbourne on Saturday.

"It's only in the last few games that I've really thought about [retirement]. It is a tough decision as well as being an easy decision.

"Everything is exactly where I wanted it to be but it is getting a lot tougher to leave home because the kids are growing up.

"I've still got four months of cricket left if it all goes well and I will sit back and take a look at things then. The last thing I want to do is rush into something else."

Only a couple of days ago Glenn said he still had a couple of years left in him

Geoff Lawson

The World Cup takes place in the West Indies in March and April.

Australian newspapers had said McGrath might retire before that tournament to help his wife Jane in her battle against cancer.

McGrath took eight months out of the game earlier this year to take care of her before returning to action at the ICC Champions Trophy in September.

He rejoined the Test side for the Ashes and took six wickets to help Australia win the first Test in Brisbane.

His double-wicket maiden late on day four of the third Test in Perth swung the game in Australia's favour and led to them taking a winning 3-0 lead in the series.

McGrath admitted he had been forced into announcing his retirement earlier than agreed with Shane Warne.

"The plan we came up with was for Shane to announce [his retirement] before the Melbourne game and I was going to announce it before Sydney," he said.

"With the scrutiny I wanted to get it over and done with so we could concentrate on the last two Tests.

"Going through a Test match, trying to deny that I'm retiring without lying is a bit tough."

McGrath made a habit of dismissing the best of the world's batsmen - he claimed the wicket of West Indies star Brian Lara 15 times and England's Mike Atherton on 19 occasions.

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Cricket Australia chief executive officer James Sutherland said McGrath had achieved the rare distinction of being a consistent match-winner in both Test and one-day cricket for 13 years.

"They say bowlers win matches - they must have been thinking of players like Glenn McGrath when they said that," Sutherland said.

"His remorseless accuracy and forensic probing of the slightest weakness in a batsman's technique is legendary."

After this series, Australia do not have another Test for 11 months.

Geoff Lawson, who preceded McGrath as a seamer with Australia and New South Wales, told BBC Five Live the announcement had not come as a complete shock.

"Only a couple of days ago - in the middle of the Shane Warne retirement announcement - Glenn said he still had a couple of years left in him.

"But for those who have been suggesting over the last few months that it may be the swansong for Glenn McGrath if Australia did regain the Ashes, it's not a surprise," he said.

"At 36, nearing 37, I suppose the body tends to find things a little bit tougher and therefore retirement becomes a much easier decision."

SEE ALSO
Australia face life after McGrath
23 Dec 06 |  The Ashes
Ruthless Aussies regain the Ashes
18 Dec 06 |  The Ashes
Legend Warne to quit after Ashes
21 Dec 06 |  The Ashes
Ponting wants whitewash for Warne
22 Dec 06 |  The Ashes


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