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Vaughan backing Bopara & Co

Former captain did not want to distract England from their goal

Vaughan: On the way out

Vaughan: On the way out

Michael Vaughan has revealed his determination not to hinder England's Ashes stars was behind his decision to retire.

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"There's some excellent players and, the likes of Ravi Bopara, the last thing that they needed in an Ashes series that is going to be so high profile is someone like myself getting a hundred and the media building up my chances of getting in the team."

Michael Vaughan

Quotes of the week

The Yorkshire batsman announced his retirement from all forms of professional cricket on Tuesday, after failing to recapture the form that led to him becoming England's most successful Test captain.

He could feasibly have played in the England Lions match against the Australians, which starts in Worcester on Wednesday.

But the 34-year-old did not want to increase the pressure on England's current Ashes squad as they prepare to take on Ricky Ponting's men from July 8.

Mindset

"It was always going to be a long shot to get me back in," Vaughan said. "There's some excellent players and, the likes of Ravi Bopara, the last thing that they needed in an Ashes series that is going to be so high profile is someone like myself getting a hundred and the media building up my chances of getting in the team.

"Those guys need the confidence to go out and play. I had great opportunities and all the younger players and the guys in and around the team need that confidence to go out and express themselves now.

"I could have had the opportunity to play for the England Lions but it would have been based purely on the past and you have to move forward.

"I hope by me moving on now it gives a great opportunity for the guys to go and recreate history.

"The Ashes win of 2005 will be irrelevant over the next few weeks. Hopefully the team can move on and create their own piece of history."

Offer

Vaughan has backed England to go on and beat the old enemy on home ground and has also revealed he would be willing to lend skipper Andrew Strauss a helping hand if required.

"I always like us on our home shore; I like the job Andy Flower and Andy Strauss are doing in building this unit," he added.

"I'm enjoying the fact we've got bowling options that look like wicket-taking options. Yes they bat deep, but I do think we've got 20 wickets in the tank in the Test series. That's why I'm optimistic.

"I haven't strategically looked at the Australian players because I haven't had to, but Straussy knows that we're good friends and if any time during the series he wants to ring me up and have a yarn, my phone will always be on.

"I want England to be successful. I want to be at the Oval in August with everyone celebrating a great Ashes victory."