Craig Matthews announces his retirement
I take this opportunity to announce my retirement from all cricket. Although I will certainly miss the game that has played such a huge part in my life and development as a person, I realise that it is time to move on to new challenges, thereby not hampering the progress of any young players in Western Province. Fortunately, these new challenges are related to the game I love so much. In my role as Marketing Manager of Western Province Cricket (Pty) Ltd, the task of raising the profile of cricket in general and provincial cricket in particular, is an exciting one, but with the help of those at Western Province Cricket, it is a challenge I look forward to.
As I reflect on a long career, I am humbled. While achieving something which millions only dream of, I count myself extremely privileged that I had the opportunity to represent my country while many far greater cricketers than myself, from both the old South African Cricket Union and Board, were denied the chance. I hope that in some way I was able to represent them as well, as we embarked on our way back in International Cricket.
When retiring there are many people to thank. Firstly, I would like to thank all my coaches, from Junior School to International Cricket. In some way or another, each and every one has played an important role in my development. Particularly, I would like to thank Robin Jackman, Hylton Ackerman and Duncan Fletcher, not only for their technical advice but also for their personal input, which helped formulate my character.
Furthermore, I would like to thank all my teammates. From my U/11 Days at Pinelands North, right through to Pinelands Cricket Club and onward to Provincial and International Cricket, there are too many characters to mention all, but they have all made playing cricket a pleasure. On a personal note, a special word of thanks to Eric Simons for help, guidance and friendship over the years.
Thanks also to Western Province and South African Cricket for the opportunity to represent these great teams. A particular word of thanks to the staff at Western Province Cricket for all the help over the years. Furthermore, thanks to all my team as well as individual sponsors for their help and thanks to the media: without you, there would not be commercial value in the game.
Finally, a huge thank you to the fans. I have been truly privileged to play my cricket at Newlands. The fans through the years have not only been loyal, but have picked you up when you're down and brought you down to ground when it was needed. It was an honour playing in front of you.
Lastly, I cannot begin to express my thanks to my friends and family for their loyal support, guidance and unconditional friendship which has been greatly appreciated. Particularly, to my brothers Brett and Grant, and my parents Sybil and Barry, thank you, you continue to be a source of much guidance and inspiration.
Thank you. CRAIG MATTHEWS