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Damien Martyn announces retirement

Australia's bid to regain the Ashes gets a setback by the retirement of the senior batsman, six days before the third Test against England.

india Updated: Dec 09, 2006 03:10 IST

Australia's bid to regain the Ashes had a setback on Friday by the retirement of senior batsman Damien Martyn, six days before the third cricket Test against England.

Martyn, 35, informed Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland of his decision to quit from all international and first class cricket, shortly before the announcement of Australia's third Test squad.

Uncapped West Australian batsman Adam Voges was named to replace Martyn in the Australian squad named on Friday, while all-rounder Andrew Symonds was called in place of fast bowler Shaun Tait.

Shane Watson was not considered because of a hamstring injury. Martyn's sudden announcement ended a 67-Test career stretching back to 1992 and was unexpected by Australia, which leads the five-Test Ashes series by 2-0.

Although his decision to retire before he was dropped from Australia's aging team was applauded by former Australian cricket captains, including Ian Chappell.

Martyn, who scored 4,406 runs in Tests, including 13 centuries, said he no longer felt 100 percent committed to his sport. "I feel therefore, it's time for me to move aside," he said in a statement.

"I've enjoyed everything the game has given me. I have gained from it more than I could ever have imagined." Martyn, who had scored only 35 runs in his first three innings in the Ashes series, thanked his Australian teammates for their support and admitted the timing of his retirement might cost him their friendship.

"I said to myself when I made this decision in the last 48 hours that I may lose friends in doing what I'm doing," he said. "But I also said to myself that if I stayed doing what I was doing I may equally lose respect for myself and the friendship of those around me who are entitled to expect from me more than 100 percent."

Australia captain Ricky Ponting said that he and other Australian team members would miss Martyn's presence and experience. "Martyn is one of the world's most unsung players in both forms of the game and I don't think it is really understood how good a player he actually is," Ponting said.

Martyn had a checkered Test career, making his debut against the West Indies in 1992 but losing his place the following season. He spent six years out of the Test team but regained his place during Australia's tour of New Zealand in 2001, cementing his position during that year's Ashes series when he scored his maiden Test century at Edgbaston.

Martyn established himself at No. 4 in the Australian order, scoring six centuries in a calendar year during 2004 before losing his place again after the 2005 Ashes series, won by England. He returned to the team in South Africa this year, scoring a match-winning 101 in Johannesburg.

Martyn averaged 46.38 in Tests with a highest score of 165. He averaged 40.8 in 208 limited-overs internationals, scoring five centuries. He was a member of Australia's World Cup winning squads in 1999 and 2003.

Australian squad: Ricky Ponting, captain, Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Michael Hussey, Michael Clarke, Adam Voges, Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist, Shane Warne, Brett Lee, Stuart Clark, Glenn McGrath, Mitchell Johnson.

First Published: Dec 08, 2006 12:07 IST