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January 3, 2014
Joe Sayers, once tipped as a future Yorkshire captain, has called time on a frustrating career once full of promise by announcing his retirement from first-class cricket
Sayers had a prolonged absence from the Yorkshire side in 2010 because of post-viral fatigue syndrome and, although he returned, he made only 222 runs in 10 LV= Championship matches in the last two seasons, averaging only 15.85.
With Sayers' retirement, county cricket has lost one of its most redoubtable defensive batsmen. He made 11 first-class hundreds, nine for Yorkshire, with a first-class strike rate of only 37 runs per hundred balls that often salvaged an innings but rarely quickened the pulse.
He also had the distinction of being one of only seven Yorkshire cricketers to have carried his bat through a completed innings more than once.
Sayers, 30, a former pupil at St Mary's School in Menston, first revealed his leadership qualities to a wider audience when he captained England U-14 against India. He led Oxford University in 2003, where he gained a degree in physics. He was also on the books at Bradford City as a goalkeeper before he chose to follow a cricketing career.
The 2009 summer was the most successful of his career, with him scoring 1,150 runs from 17 first-class matches. It was enough for England to take a closer look.
He played for England Lions against Australia in August 2009 and subsequently toured South Africa with an England Performance Programme squad, but he suffered a bout of gastro-enteritis in Pretoria and his illness problems began.
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