Robert Croft to retire

  • Last Updated: September 6 2012, 16:42 BST

Robert Croft has announced he will retire from professional cricket at the end of the season to take up a coaching and ambassadorial role at Glamorgan.

Robert Croft: Will take Glamorgan coaching and ambassadorial role

The former England off-spinner made his first-class debut for the Welsh county back in 1989 and has taken 1,168 wickets, with a best of 8-66, and made more than 12,000 runs.

The 42-year-old played 21 Tests, taking 49 wickets, and 50 one-dayers in his international career.

"It's finally dawning on me that my career is coming to an end," he told Glamorgan's official website.

"It's unbelievable how quickly time has passed since from 1985 when I first walked into the Glamorgan environment as a teenager followed by my debut at the Oval in 1989; to think that it is the best part of 30 years is incredible.

"I count myself lucky to have played as long as I have and I'm grateful for the support I have received over the years from teammates, coaches and most importantly from my family and friends.

"I don't think I could have had the career I have had without such a supportive family. I owe a lot to my parents, Susan and Malcolm, my grandparents, my wife Marie and children Callum and Kara Beth.

"They have been there throughout my cricketing career, providing encouragement in the difficult times and a sense of level headedness in the good times. What's more my friends around me, those in the game and in the media have also all helped give me the motivation to keep on playing the game.

"I'm also lucky to have played with so many wonderful players for both Glamorgan and England with whom I've shared so many experiences, both good and bad. Those experiences will stay with me.

"I'm pleased to end my career with a home match against Kent at the SWALEC next week, but when I walk up those stairs for the last time as a player, I will be emotional, there's sure to be a tear in my eye."

Glamorgan Cricket Chief Executive Alan Hamer praised Croft for his efforts over the years, while also stating his delight that he will continue to be involved with the county he has served so well.

"Although this announcement draws the curtain on a truly remarkable playing career, it also signals the start of a new chapter in Robert's life," Hamer said.

"Robert's playing record speaks for itself and I hope that large numbers of spectators will attend next week's match against Kent, to give him the send-off he deserves.

"With Robert's playing career drawing to a close, the club have spent the past few weeks working with Robert to determine the most effective way in which his skills and experience can be best utilised.

"We are therefore delighted that Robert will now remain with the club in a coaching and ambassadorial role which will now not only see him help with the development of our younger players but also working to raise the profile of Glamorgan and Welsh Cricket."

Robert Croft factfile

1970: Born May 25 at Morriston, Swansea.

1989: Makes county debut for Glamorgan.

1991-92: Selected for England A's tour of West Indies.

1992: Awarded county cap in a season which saw him take 68 wickets - including career-best figures of eight for 66 (14 for 169 in the match) against Warwickshire at Swansea.

1993-94: Again chosen to tour with England A, this time to South Africa.

1995: Hits a career-best 143 against Somerset at Taunton.

1996: Makes his Test and one-day international debuts - against Pakistan at The Oval and the same tourists in the Texaco Trophy at Old Trafford.

1997: Glamorgan win County Championship under new coach Duncan Fletcher. But Croft takes only eight wickets in the home Ashes series against Australia and also finds himself in an ugly confrontation with Essex's Mark Ilott in a NatWest semi-final.

1997-98: Member of Michael Atherton's touring party to the West Indies, where England lose Test series.

1998: After a difficult winter, he returns for the first three Tests of England's home series with South Africa. But after playing an important innings to help save the match at Old Trafford, he is dropped for the decisive Tests of a series England came from behind to win.

1998-99: Takes part in the Ashes tour in Australia, where England were beaten.

1999: Member of England's World Cup squad. Omitted from the subsequent Test series at home to New Zealand as well as winter tours of South Africa and Zimbabwe.

2000: Awarded benefit season by Glamorgan. Also returns to the Test fold only to be discarded after the drawn third Test against West Indies. Subsequently vented his anger against selectors when not originally chosen for the winter tours of Kenya, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

December - Named in Test and one-day squads for Sri Lanka tour.

2001: Takes nine wickets - including four for 56 in the third Test - as England come from behind to win the series.

August - Makes only appearance in Ashes series against Australia in the third Test. Bowls just three overs, but claims wicket of Ricky Ponting.

October - Selected in Test squad for winter tours to India and New Zealand, but decides against touring India due to safety concerns.

2003: Named Glamorgan captain, and leads county until 2006.

November - Called up to England squad for Sri Lanka tour but fails to play in a Test.

2004: January 2 - Announces retirement from international cricket.

2005: September - Despite Glamorgan's County Championship relegation, Croft signs new three-year deal with his native county at the age of 35.

2010: July - Takes 1,000th first-class wicket, against Leicestershire at Swansea

August - Takes a hat-trick, to end the match against Gloucestershire at Cheltenham.

2012: Awarded testimonial year by Glamorgan.

September 6: Announces retirement from professional cricket at end of season, after a career which saw him become the first Glamorgan cricketer to take more than 1,000 wickets and score more than 10,000 runs.