Damien Martyn retires

The Australian cricket team's bid to regain the Ashes was rocked on Friday by the retirement of senior batsman.

india Updated: Dec 16, 2006 16:22 IST

The Australian cricket team's bid to regain the Ashes was rocked on Friday by the retirement of senior batsman Damien Martyn, six days before the third test against England at Perth.

Martyn, 35, informed Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland of his decision to retire 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 Friday, while all-rounder Andrew Symonds was called in in place of fast bowler Shaun Tait. Shane Watson was not considered because of a hamstring injury. Martyn's sudden decision to retire Friday, ending a 67-test career stretching back to 1992, shocked Australia which leads the five-test Ashes series 2-0.

In a statement issued through Cricket Australia, the veteran batsman, 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.

"I've enjoyed everything the game has given me. I have gained from it more than I could ever have imagined.

"I have made in the playing of cricket, life-long friends." 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.

"I wish everyone associated with Cricket Australia the very best."

Australian captain Ricky Ponting said 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 the first test at Johannesburg.

Martyn averaged 46.38 in tests with a highest score of 165. He played 208 one-day internationals, scoring five centuries. 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 16, 2006 16:22 IST