Owais Shah, the former England batsman, announced his retirement from first-class cricket on Tuesday (September 24). Shah, 34, wants to concentrate on the shorter formats of the game, meaning he could remain at Essex next season.
Shah, who played six Tests, 71 One-Day Internationals and 18 Twenty20 Internationals for England, completed his first-class career by hitting 120 against Glamorgan last week. In total, he has made 16,357 first-class runs at an average of 41.94.
"I have really enjoyed my Championship cricket career," said Shah in a statement. "I started off playing four-day cricket for Middlesex and my main aim was to play for England. I have achieved this, but now as time goes on I would rather concentrate on the shorter forms of the game.
"It's time for the young guys at Essex to come through in the First Team squad, and it's important that I don't stand in their way."
Shah's announcement came four days after Ravi Bopara, his Essex team-mate, had given away his retirement intentions on Twitter, writing, "Congrats to Owais Shah on a GREAT first class career. Finished with a fine century today. 45 first class 100s & a great man. Will be missed."
"He's had a marvellous career," Paul Grayson, the Essex head coach, told BBC Essex. ""We're keen to sit down with him and discuss options for one-day cricket next year. We'd like him to sign for us in the T20s and 50-over cricket."
Shah started his career at Middlesex in 1996 and played with them for 14 years before joining Essex in 2010. His last Test for England was in March 2009, against West Indies. He has played T20 cricket in six countries and been part of the last four Indian Premier League tournaments, featuring for the Rajasthan Royals earlier this year.