Ian Westwood: Warwickshire batsman and former captain retires
Warwickshire batsman Ian Westwood has announced his immediate retirement from cricket after a 15-year playing career.
The 34-year-old former Bears captain spent his entire career at Edgbaston, making 159 first-class appearances for the club he joined as a boy, scoring 8,077 runs at an average of 33.10.
He twice won the County Championship with the Bears, in 2004 and 2012, captaining the side in 2009 and 2010.
However, he has only played in four Championship matches this season.
"Playing for my home county was all that I ever wanted to do as a junior," he said. "I am very proud to have enjoyed a 15-year career, in which I have been part of teams that have won the County Championship and also captained the club.
"It has been a very difficult decision to retire, but this is the right time. I would like to thank the many people that have supported me throughout, particularly the players and coaches who I have worked with, club members and of course my family.
"I'm now going to enjoy a period with my family, but certainly intend to remain in cricket and will be a regular visitor to Edgbaston to catch up with the lads and support the Bears."
Westwood began planning for a possible future career as an umpire last summer when he started officiating in Birmingham League matches.
BBC WM's Mike Taylor
"Ian Westwood's period as captain of Warwickshire did not coincide with one of the county's recent bursts of trophy-winning. However, his fortitude at a time when the team were struggling to stay in the first division was in no small part responsible for the success that followed.
"In 2010, just as now, the Bears appeared virtually certain to be relegated for much of the season, particularly after two grisly defeats by Nottinghamshire in July and August, the second of which saw them routed twice in a day.
"But Westwood rallied his troops to win their final three games - all of them low-scoring thrillers - to survive on the final day.
"On that last afternoon against Hampshire at The Rose Bowl, while his team-mates celebrated, I remember interviewing Westwood and finding him utterly spent with the mental effort expended.
"It did not surprise me that he passed the captaincy on that autumn after giving so much of himself, but he should have taken as much pride as anyone in seeing the side go on to be runners-up and champions in the next two seasons.
"Westwood is not destined to be celebrated by cricketing historians as one of the county's most successful captains, but that will not do adequate justice to his considerable, unsung contribution."