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Former England seamer Matthew Hoggard retires from first-class cricket

Hoggard annouces retirement

Matthew Hoggard: Hanging up his boots after a 17-year career

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Former England seamer Matthew Hoggard has announced that he will retire from first-class cricket at the end of the season.

The 36-year-old has called time on a glittering 17-year career after playing in almost 250 first-class matches for Yorkshire, Leicestershire and England.

Hoggard was one of the stars of England's memorable Ashes victory in 2005, playing in all five Tests and claiming 16 wickets to help regain the famous urn for the first time since 1987.

The paceman played the last of his 67 Test matches in New Zealand in 2008, finishing his England career with 248 wickets, while he also took 36 scalps in 26 one-day internationals.

Hoggard has played in only six County Championship matches this season, although he currently tops the club's bowling averages with 16 wickets at an average of under 30.

"I feel truly honoured to have been given such incredible opportunities and I am grateful to everyone that I have worked alongside for the past 17 years."

Matthew Hoggard

In a statement on his website, Hoggard said: "I want to thank all of my family, friends, my past opponents, the PCA and both Yorkshire and Leicestershire County Cricket Clubs for the support and dedication that they have shown me over the course of my career.

Dream

"Playing cricket professionally and, of course, playing as part of the national side is a dream that nearly every young boy growing up in Yorkshire shares.

"I feel truly honoured to have been given such incredible opportunities and I am grateful to everyone that I have worked alongside for the past 17 years.".

Hoggard has spent the last three seasons at Leicestershire after 13 years with his native Yorkshire, making his first-class debut in 1996.

Leicestershire chief executive Mike Siddall said "Everyone at Leicestershire wishes Matthew and his family the very best for the future following his retirement.

"He has had a massive influence at the Club during the four years he has been here, not least captaining the County to its third T20 Trophy win at Edgbaston in August 2011. His wicked sense of humour and Yorkshire wit will be missed by all."

Overall, Hoggard claimed 786 wickets in first-class cricket and also contributed useful runs down the order, often being employed by England as a reliable nightwatchman.