Zafar Ansari: Former England all-rounder did not 'give up' when retiring

Zafar Ansari
Zafar Ansari played three Test matches for England in 2016

Former England and Surrey all-rounder Zafar Ansari insists he was not "giving up" when he retired at the age of 25.

Ansari has a glittering academic record and said his decision would only have been a negative act if he had had the talent to be one of the very best.

"In my own mind at least I was not, or have not been, a super successful cricketer, it did not feel like I was giving up something," he said.

"If I was Joe Root or Moeen Ali, I would have been giving up."

Ansari has a double first in politics, philosophy and sociology from Cambridge University, and a master's in history from Royal Holloway, and his academic credentials "massively played a part" in his choice.

Ansari in numbers
MatchesRunsBatting averageWicketsBowling average
Tests3499.8555
First-class71459229.7912835.87
Twenty206976827.423931.15

He added that the "so-called bravery of the decision, or whatever people thought, probably was not as great as it might have come across".

Asked if he stopped loving the game, Ansari told BBC Radio 5 live: "Yeah, a lot of cricketers fight with the game."

Ansari played three Test matches in 2016 and 71 first-class games overall, taking a total of 133 wickets.

He had been at Surrey since the age of eight and made his international debut last year against Bangladesh, before playing two further Test matches against India.

But at the time he admitted the tour of the subcontinent had come too early for him, having managed just five wickets at an average of 55 and scoring 49 runs.

"It is a hard sport in terms of the amount that you fail and in terms of the amount you travel a lot of the time," he explained.

"It really does take up your life in a way that a lot of sports do. When you are really interested in other things, and when there are people around you that do other things that you see and excite you, that really was the impetus to me."

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