England heroes plugging away in county cricket
In the Guardian, Vic Marks writes of watching Steve Harmison and Liam Plunkett play in the County Championship, the possible incentives and desires that drive them to keep playing and why it could be tough to just quit.
Timing can be everything in sport and the timing of one's departure can be as tricky as anything that takes place on the field. There are financial implications, of course, and somehow Harmison is only in the second year of a lucrative four-year contract. But there are also the questions of fitness, hunger and performance.
Objectivity can be hard to find. Sportsmen, almost inevitably, are poor judges of their worth as a player. They survive and prosper because of their self-belief. The best are the best because they think they can do anything. How can we expect them suddenly to make a more clinical assessment in their 30s?
Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo