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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 August 2007, 11:48 GMT 12:48 UK
Ashes hero Giles ends his career
Giles at The Oval on Thursday, where he chose to announce his retirement
Giles at The Oval on Thursday, where he announced his retirement

England spinner Ashley Giles, a member of the 2005 Ashes-winning team, has confirmed his retirement from cricket.

Constant hip problems have forced him to give up the game at the age of 34 on the advice of his surgeon, and he is set to pursue a career in the media.

He said: "I would have liked to have left cricket at the very top, still playing the game I have always loved.

"But there is no chance of me returning to cricket at any level, whether it be on the village green or Test arena."

He was due to spend Thursday night with the England team engaged in the final Test against India at The Oval.

606: DEBATE
EJ

England captain Michael Vaughan said the Warwickshire left-armer's strength of character had been his most compelling quality.

Vaughan said: "He went through difficult periods earlier in his career where he had long-term injuries.

"But his determination to recover from them and regain his international place is an object lesson not just to other cricketers but to any professional sportsman.

"Ashley's retirement is very sad news and everyone in the England dressing room will miss his professionalism and, of course, his sense of humour.

"In my view, Ashley has to be one of the most under-rated cricketers ever to pull on an England shirt.

"He was a key member of the England Test side which won six successive Test series and I know how much his team-mates valued his contributions to our success."

Ashley Giles' career peaked when he tasted Ashes glory in 2005
Giles' career peaked when he tasted Ashes glory in 2005

Having put on 109 with Kevin Pietersen in the final Test of the 2005 Ashes, a decisive partnership which secured the series for England, Giles missed most of 2006 through injury.

He returned to play in the first two Tests in Australia - with many England fans demanding the inclusion of Monty Panesar instead.

But having been dropped for the Perth Test he came back home early to comfort his wife Stine as she battled a brain tumour.

A third hip operation ruled him out of the current season and the left-armer has decided to call it quits after taking 143 wickets in 54 Test matches.

He said in July he was contemplating retirement, with the knowledge that by attempting to play on he would have been in further pain.

ASHLEY GILES FACTBOX
1973: Born 19 March, Chertsey
1991: Surrey young cricketer of year; impresses as a pace bowler but back injury forces switch to spin
1997: England debut in an ODI against Australia
2000: Takes 17 wickets in Test series win in Pakistan
2001: Wins central contract but misses most of summer after Achilles operation
2002: Breaks wrist after being struck by a Steve Harmison delivery in Adelaide
2004: Man of the match in first Test against West Indies
2006: Awarded MBE for role in England's Ashes win

There was also the prospect of long-term damage to the joint, plus a hip replacement, that would have affected his day-to-day life outside cricket.

Giles, who also took 55 wickets in 62 one-day internationals, has been preparing for a life outside of the game by doing commentary work on BBC Radio.

At the start of his England career he was a vital component in the series wins in Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 2000-01.

After a less productive period, in which injuries began to affect his rhythm, he was prolific during the 2004 summer, and featured in 11 Tests in succession which England won.

He produced a key spell in the 2005 Ashes victory at Edgbaston, taking 3-78 in 26 accurate overs as Australia were bowled out for 308, handing England a vital lead of 99.

With the bat, he was often hard to dislodge and enjoyed flaying the ball over gully.

Giles said he had no regrets, and spoke of the "great memories" he would keep of being part of a "fantastic Warwickshire and England dressing room."

Cricket has been my job, my joy, my life

Ashley Giles

He went on: "I feel lucky to have travelled the world playing a game with my mates and hugely privileged to have played alongside and against some of the greatest cricketers to grace the game.

"It has been a huge honour to play for my country and to play a part in one of the most successful periods in its cricketing history.

"I dreamt of playing cricket for England and winning the Ashes as a child and so to be part of that magical summer of 2005 was truly a dream realised."

He thanked all his coaches and captains throughout his career, his various team-mates and his family.

"Mum and Dad made me who I am and Stine, Anders and Tilly [his two children] have kept me that way," he went on.

"I've enjoyed many battles during my 16 years as a professional cricketer both on and off the field.

"Cricket has been my job, my joy, my life."

SEE ALSO
Giles calls for Twenty20 experts
03 Aug 07 |  England
Giles forced to consider future
10 Jul 07 |  England
Giles to sit out most of season
28 Apr 07 |  England
Giles grateful for fans' support
20 Jan 07 |  Warwickshire
Fletcher defends Giles selection
06 Dec 06 |  England


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