Michael Vaughan has confirmed his decision to retire from all forms of professional cricket, so as not to stand in the way of up-and-coming talent.
The 34-year-old Yorkshire batsman, quit as England's most successful Test captain of all time - with 26 wins from his 51 matches in charge - in August 2008.
He had hoped the decision would prolong his international career, but a lack of runs and his inability to complete a full day in the field this season because of a right knee injury saw him omitted from the squad for this summer's Ashes.
Vaughan has, therefore, taken the decision to bow out of the game to allow some of the country's blossoming talent to develop in his place.
"After a great deal of consideration, I've decided that now is the right time to retire from cricket," Vaughan said. "It has been an enormous privilege to have played for and captained my country and this is one of the hardest decisions I have had to make.
"Having played almost non-stop for 16 seasons, I feel that the time is right for the focus to shift to the next generation.
"We have some fantastic talent coming through the English counties and, with the next Ashes series upon us, now is the time for the younger players to rise to the challenge of building on the success achieved in English cricket in the last few years."
Vaughan, whose achievements include leading England to their first Ashes victory against Australia for 18 years in 2005; a first Test series win in South Africa for 40 years - also in 2005 - and presiding over eight consecutive Test wins in 2004, also paid homage to those who have offered their support along the way.
"I'd like to record my sincere thanks to the England fans and the ECB and the members and supporters of Yorkshire County Cricket Club for their unstinting backing throughout my career as well as my wife Nicola and the rest of my family who have been equally supportive," he added.
"I'm also extremely grateful to all of the players, managers, coaches, media and administrators I've worked with, who have all contributed to making my career so enjoyable and fulfilling.
"I'd also like to wish Andrew Strauss and the current England team success in this Ashes series.
"I know they have the drive, ambition and abilities to repeat the success from 2005. Winning that series was most definitely the highpoint of my career."
As a batsman, he scored 18 Test hundreds for England following his debut in 1999 and was ranked the number one batsman in the world following the 2002/3 Ashes Series in Australia in which he made 633 runs including three centuries.
He retires with a Test batting average of 41.44 from 82 matches and tributes to the former England captain have been flooded in over the past few days, which you can read by clicking here.