Matthew Hoggard: England Ashes hero announces retirement

The time is right to quit - Hoggard

Leicestershire's former England seam bowler Matthew Hoggard has announced he will retire at the end of the season.

The 36-year-old represented his country for eight years from 2000 and took 248 Test wickets in 67 matches.

He was a key figure in the 2005 Ashes series and received an MBE for his part in England's memorable 2-1 success.

Hoggard said on Twitter:external-link "It's been an amazing journey filled with fantastic experiences shared with great people but time's come to hang the boots up!"

He told BBC Radio Leicester: "The body is not getting younger and bowling is not getting any easier - and Leicestershire is in a transitional stage where they need to build with the youngsters."

Born in Leeds, Hoggard began his domestic career with Yorkshire, making his debut in 1996, and was a member of their County Championship-winning side in 2001.

He took 668 wickets in 195 first-class matches for the club, but was released in 2009.

Hoggard joined Leicestershire as captain for the start of the 2010 season and led the side to victory in the FL t20 competition a year later.

"Captaining the T20 side to victory in 2011 was a fantastic achievement. Everyone had written us off and it was an amazing journey that year.

"It was a turbulent time at the club in that first year, but I have no regrets," he said.

He was not selected for their current Championship game against Lancashire, but is set to make his final first-class appearance in next week's fixture against Hampshire.

Former England captain Michael Vaughan paid tribute to his former team-mate, tweeting:external-link "Fantastic career @Hoggy602 .. A absolute pleasure to Captain...Even though you are crackers... #Kingofswing."

Hoggard's Test career began at Lord's in 2000 against West Indies, but he failed to take a wicket in the match and had to wait for almost a year for his second chance.

He subsequently established himself as a regular member of the side and after taking a hat-trick against West Indies in Barbados in 2004, he contributed 16 wickets to England's Ashes triumph the following year, as well as being part of a match-winning partnership with Ashley Giles in the fourth Test at Trent Bridge.

Later that year, Hoggard produced his best performance for England as match figures of 12-205 helped them to a seven-wicket win over South Africa in Johannesburg.

He currently stands joint seventh in England's all-time leading wicket-takers list, on the same total as off-spinner Graeme Swann.

Hoggard is the fifth member of England's 2005 Ashes line-up to retire from the professional game, following Vaughan, Giles, Andrew Flintoff and Andrew Strauss.

Leicestershire chief executive Mike Siddall, meanwhile, praised Hoggard's "massive influence" on the club, adding: "His wicked sense of humour and Yorkshire wit will be missed by all."


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