Australian paceman Brett Lee has confirmed his retirement from Test cricket in order to prolong his career.
Injuries in recent years have hampered Lee's 76-Test career, and now he says that only by giving up the five-day game can he continue to play on for a few more years.
The 33-year-old has been on a lengthy rehabilitation following elbow surgery in December, and after weighing things up he has decided he must give up Test cricket.
Lee leaves the Test scene sitting fourth on Australia's all-time Test wicket-takers list with 310, behind Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Dennis Lillee.
"I am extremely proud to have played Test cricket for Australia," said Lee.
"My reason for retiring from this form of the game is so that I can preserve my body and continue to represent my country in the other forms of the game."
Aussie skipper Ricky Ponting heaped praise on Lee for contributing to the team's success over the past ten years.
"Doing what he does, running 35 metres every ball that he bowls, bowling every ball at close to 150kph and putting his heart on the line every ball he bowls, this guy deserves a massive pat on the back," he said.
"His winning strike rate and ratio in games that he's played for Australia is up there with the greats, and I will cherish every opportunity I have to play with Brett in the shortened forms of the game from here on in.
"I and the rest of the team obviously wish him the best with his recovery, and hopefully he gets the green and gold back on and is out there representing Australia."
Turning to Lee, Ponting added: "Congratulations, mate, on what's been an amazing Test career."
Lee missed last year's Ashes series after suffering a side strain on the eve of the first Test and has not worn the baggy green since the 2008 Boxing Day Test against South Africa.
Cricket Australia chief executive officer James Sutherland paid tribute to Lee's efforts with the national side since making his debut in 1999, when he claimed five for 47 in his first Test innings against India.
"Brett's had a fantastic career in Test match cricket for Australia over a long period and I take this opportunity to congratulate him on the way he has represented his country and the outstanding contribution he has made," Sutherland said.
"Brett has played a key role in helping the Australian team be one of the most successful Test teams in history.
"But it's also the way he went about his cricket; with a readiness to smile and a clear enjoyment of what he was doing, which also helped lift the team's popularity and won the support of fans in Australia and throughout the world."