James Tomlinson: Retiring Hants seamer likens himself to old dog with leg missing

James Tomlinson
James Tomlinson has taken 382 first-class wickets across his 14-year career

David Attenbrough seems to have provided Hampshire seam bowler James Tomlinson with the inspiration for his retirement announcement.

In a nature documentary-themed statement on the club's website, the 34-year-old left-armer likens himself to a wild dog with "half a leg missing" after years of battle.

Even when revealing he will stay on to coach young players, Tomlinson could not resist sticking to his theme.

"Although I was once both the young dog at the front and the healthy dog in the middle, I feel now is the right time to head back to the den," he said.

"I now have the opportunity to do just that and look after all the young dogs coming through - a job I already love and cherish."

From there, he abandons the analogy and goes on to an Oscar-acceptance speech list of acknowledgments, thanking brothers Hugh, Ralph, former Pakistan star Wasim Akram, the Hampshire slip cordon and the Dukes ball used in county cricket.

Tomlinson, who has spent his whole career at the Ageas Bowl and was the leading wicket-taker in the Championship in 2008 with 67, will call it a day at the end of the season.

This summer, he has only made six Championship appearances, taking 14 wickets at an average of 34.50.

However, it is batsmen around the circuit for whom he reserves his greatest appreciation.

"I would most like to thank the opposition batters who somehow for over a decade missed the straight ones and nicked the half volleys... to you all I will be forever grateful," he ends.

Reaction on Twitter

Former England spinner Graeme Swann: "This could be the greatest retirement statement in the history of English cricket"

Hampshire captain Will Smith: "In true Tommo style. A living legend. Been a privilege and an honour to share a dressing room with you T."

England and Hampshire spinner Liam Dawson: "Congrats to james Tomlinson on his career. been a pleasure to have played with you for all those years @hantscricket"

Hampshire batsman Jimmy Adams: "You won't find a better man. It's as simple as that."

Worcestershire bowler Jack Shantry: "Fantastic statement from one of the best blokes on the circuit."

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