Test Match Sofa
Croft: 'It's the right time to retire'
By Richard Thomas
Robert Croft has insisted the time is right to hang up the bowling boots after 24 seasons for Glamorgan. The 42-year-old retired after helping Glamorgan to a seven-wicket win over Kent during which he completed match figures of seven for 107, including with a wicket with his final ball in first-class cricket.
He will now take on a coaching and ambassadorial role with the Welsh county for whom he made his debut as a 19-year-old in 1989. Since then he has taken 1,175 wickets in a career which saw him play 21 Test matches for England as well as 50 one-day internationals.
But after his final game he insisted he was ready to retire. "The time is right to move on right now,” he admitted. “I'll be 43 next season and I don't want to stand in any young player's way.
"There was an opportunity to move and do something else, but in the end I'm a Welsh lad. I want to be part of redeveloping this squad into a successful team.”
Croft admitted it was an emotional end when the Glamorgan players formed a guard of honour as he walked off the field for the final time.
"It started hitting me when I was walking off. Before then I could never see myself finishing, because you think you're going to go on forever," said Croft.
"I play for success and the adulation — that's what you feed off, the excitement that the crowd gets. It hit me when I was walking off and I was choking a bit.
"There have been some terrific memories, highs and lows, but I think that's important. You can't have a career where everything goes swimmingly, you need those down times as well.
“I’ve played with some wonderful players along the way and some incredible overseas players. We could arguably have won a little bit more, but we had some great days and I’ve got some great memories.
“It’s been a real roller-coaster, but I’m glad I’ve had the downs as well as the ups because it makes you a more rounded individual. I guess it will sink in a bit over the next few days, but the boys were very sincere with their congratulations. I had a beer at the end, as champagne gives me a headache.”
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