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Vaughan set to confirm retirement
London, Jun 28 (Agencies):
Published on 28 Jun. 2009 11:18 PM IST
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Former England captain Michael Vaughan will retire from first class cricket after Yorkshire's Twenty20 game on Sunday, BBC Sport understands. It is thought the 34-year-old's right-knee injury is behind the decision. Vaughan led England to Ashes success against Australia in 2005 and is the country's most successful Test captain. But the opening batsman was left out of a 16-man training squad for this summer's Ashes series which starts at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on 8 July. Yorkshire play Derbyshire at Headingley in the final game of their Twenty20 Cup group at 1430 BST on Sunday. Having first played at county level for Yorkshire in 1993, Vaughan made his Test debut in 1999, and his first innings was a baptism of fire in South Africa with England 2-2 and soon four wickets down with still only two runs on the board. After three centuries on the Ashes tour down under in 2002/3 he rose to the top of the Test batting rankings and was appointed one day captain at the start of the 2003 season. By mid-summer he had taken on the Test captaincy, too, following Nasser Hussain's decision to step down, and after securing a 2-2 draw with the combative South Africans, Vaughan's England won six successive series, culminating in the epic 2005 Ashes victory. Vaughan had hoped to have one more series against the Australians, having missed the 5-0 whitewash down under in 2006/7 with the debilitating knee injury that plagued him since the 2005 Ashes and saw him miss the entire 2006 season. He was unable to score runs so prolifically in 50-over international cricket, with an average of 27.15 from 86 matches, and never made a century, his top score being 90. After a disappointing 2007 World Cup campaign, what proved to be his final one-day innings was in the same match as Brian Lara's farewell, a dead rubber Super Eights match against the West Indies. While Lara was run-out for 18, Vaughan showed tantalising glimpse of what might have been in the one-day arena with six fours and two sixes in 79 from 68 balls, his 16th one-day fifty. He gave up the captaincy but wanted to continue in the one-day side, although he was never chosen again. Though he made a century against the West Indies in his first Test innings for 18 months in May 2007, and also scored hundreds in home series against India and New Zealand, questions persisted about Vaughan's technique against high quality bowling. In the home series against South Africa in 2008 he made only 40 runs in five innings, including two ducks and his last innings summed up his frustration as he struck four glorious boundaries before being caught for 17. Having seen his team slip 2-0 down in the four-match series, Vaughan resigned the captaincy in an emotional press conference. That was his 51st match in charge, second only to Mike Atherton, but his record of 26 victories is the highest by any England skipper. He vowed to score runs in abundance for Yorkshire and again insisted he wanted to continue at international level as a batsman. But he was unable to regain sufficient form to earn a recall, scoring only 41 runs in four Championship matches, and was not selected for the tours of India or the West Indies last winter, although he was included in the performance programme squad that toured the sub-continent. This season, however, he has scored only 147 runs for Yorkshire in seven Championship innings, with a top score of 43 and with no apparent hope of an England return he looks to have brought the curtain down on his career.

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