London: Three days after scoring a match-winning century against New Zealand, former England captain Nasser Hussain today announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The 36-year-old Chennai-born Hussain, who steered England to a seven-wicket win in the first Test at Lord's on Monday, had been widely expected to quit international cricket but he surprised everyone by announcing his retirement from county cricket as well. "It has been a major decision for me and it has been a gradual thing that has happened over the months," Hussain announced at the Lord's. "I have been thinking about when was the time to go and on Sunday I decided the time was right to go." Hussain scored 5,764 runs at an average of 37.18 in 96 Tests during an England career which began on the 1990 tour to the West Indies. He made 14 centuries and 33 fifties, with a highest score of 207 against Australia in Edgbaston in 1997. Hussain, who was on the verge of tears, said: "Age has been catching up on me a little, the body, the fire in the stomach and the eyes have started to deteriorate a bit as well. "I was willing to fight that and I was willing to fight against opposition players but I was not willing to fight against youth in the form of Andrew Strauss." Strauss had come into the side at Lord's and hit a century on his debut with captain Michael Vaughan missing the match through injury. Hussain said he does not regret missing the 100-Test mark by just four matches. "I'm emotional because it's a big day in my life to give up the game of cricket but it's not because I am sad. "I would have loved to have played 100 caps but not for the statistic." Hussain apologised for quitting in the middle of a Test series but added playing on would have made things worse. "By Sunday I decided my time was up. Monday was an incredible day. It clarified my thoughts. A lot of good things happened to me and I just think it was a great day for me. "It's slightly selfish. I don't like going in the middle of a series but if I'd carried on I believe things would have got messy. At the moment things are clean and clear-cut." He had revealed his thoughts to England coach Duncan Fletcher and Vaughan before announcing his decision to the media. "I spoke to Duncan. He was adamant that I should go out in the way I deserved. He did not say 'No Nasser I want you to stay,' none of the selectors did that, nor did the captain." The right-handed batsman, who also leaves Essex after a 14-year career there, said there were a number of other young batsmen in England doing well. Hussain called Fletcher "an absolutely great man" and also thanked his father, Joe. Hussain captained England in 45 of his 96 Tests before stepping down in favour of Vaughan last year. England won 17 Tests under his leadership, a total exceeded only by Peter May (20) and Mike Brearley (18).
Topics : Cricket