Matthew Hoggard to retire
Former England seamer Matthew Hoggard admits there will be sadness as his career ends but feels the time is right to retire.
- Related Content
Hoggard, 36, has announced he will quit the game after his county Leicestershire's final game of the season next week.
If he plays in that fixture against Hampshire, it will take his number of first-class appearances to 239, a figure that includes 67 Tests for England.
Hoggard began his career with home county Yorkshire in 1996 and went on to take 248 Test wickets.
"Calling it quits is always a difficult choice to make,"he said.
"You don't do these sort of things willy-nilly, you have to think about it.
"I've come to the decision it is the right time to go. The body is beginning to hurt a lot more than it used to.
"Bowling doesn't get any easier, and the body is not getting any younger. I think it is fair on everybody to go.
"I've just got four days of cricket left against Hampshire - Tuesday to Friday next week then it's party time!
"But it will be sad too. I'm sure there will be a few tears at some point."
Hoggard's Test career began in 2000 and spanned eight years, incorporating the memorable Ashes series win over Australia in 2005.
Hoggard, whose principal weapon was swing, took 16 wickets as England beat their oldest rivals in a Test series for the first time in 18 years.
He said: "It was a great time. That series itself, with all the ebbs and flows and twists, was a great one to be involved in.
"It was one of the best series that has been played apparently.
"It was great to play a part in beating a very strong Australia side and bringing the Ashes back to England for the first time in 18 years - and the way it encapsulated the nation was very important for English cricket.
"It rejuvenated the country's love of the game and I think we have gone from strength to strength since."
Hoggard played his final Test against New Zealand in 2008 and was released by Yorkshire the following year but achieved further success with Leicestershire, captaining the Foxes to Twenty20 glory in 2011.
He said: "Being a Yorkshireman you want to play for your county, and making my debut was a special moment.
"To be able to play for England on top of that is what dreams are made of.
"Then to captain Leicestershire and pick up the T20 trophy in 2011, it was nice to be able to do that. For a small county to win a trophy was great."
Other highlights included winning the County Championship with Yorkshire in 2001 and taking a hat-trick against the West Indies in Barbados in 2004.
Hoggard said: "There are so many highlights and it would be wrong to pick out one or two.
"It has been a fantastic journey and one that I will look forward to reminiscing over.
"I haven't really done that yet. I look forward to becoming twice the player I was. Everyone gets better when they retire!"
Matthew Hoggard factfile:
1976: Born Leeds, December 31.
1996: Makes county championship debut for Yorkshire.
2000: June 29 - Makes Test debut for England against West Indies at Lord's. Finishes wicketless in the first innings and does not get chance to bowl in second innings as the tourists are skittled for 54 and England win by two wickets.
Awarded county cap.
Named Professional Cricketers' Association young player of the year.
2001: May 31 - Takes first Test wicket, dismissing Pakistan's Younis Khan at Old Trafford.
October 3 - Makes one-day international debut in England's five-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in Harare. Opens the bowling and takes two for 25.
October 7 - Claims maiden limited-overs five-wicket haul in third one-day international against Zimbabwe in Harare.
2002: March 16 - Claims seven for 63 in first Test against New Zealand in Christchurch.
Awarded England and Wales Cricket Board central contract.
2004: April 3 - Claims a hat-trick against West Indies in the third Test in Barbados, becoming the first Englishman for five years to achieve the feat and only the 10th England bowler in history.
An ever-present in Michael Vaughan's team which produces a clean sweep of seven victories against New Zealand and West Indies in the English summer and go through 2004 undefeated in Test cricket.
2005: January 17 - Records his first 10-wicket match haul in first-class cricket, as England push for victory on the final day of the fourth Test against South Africa in Johannesburg. Finishes with 12 wickets in the match as England win by 77 runs.
September 12 - Hoggard, who took four wickets in Australia's first innings, celebrates with England as the home side win the Ashes 2-1 following a drawn fifth Test at The Oval.
December 31 - Awarded MBE for services to cricket.
2006: March - Takes 13 wickets in three Tests as England draw 1-1 in India.
April - Named as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year.
May-June - Takes 15 wickets in three Tests as England are held 1-1 at home by Sri Lanka.
November-January 2007 - Plays in first four Tests before missing the fifth through injury as England lose 5-0 to Australia.
2008: March - After playing just four Tests in 2007, Hoggard is selected for the opener against New Zealand in Hamilton but returns match figures of one for 151 in a heavy defeat. It proves to be his final Test. His career shows Hoggard won 67 England Test caps and took 248 wickets in those matches.
2009: Released by Yorkshire and signs for Leicestershire in November, becoming captain.
2010: October - Leicestershire chairman Neil Davidson resigns after a dispute involving Hoggard who signed a letter calling for Davidson to go.
2011: Captains Leicestershire to victory in the Twenty20 Cup, with an 18-run run win over Somerset in the final at Edgbaston. However Leicestershire also finish bottom of the County Championship.
2013: With the end of an injury-hit season in sight, Hoggard announces his retirement, effective after the final match of the season against Hampshire.