County news July 28, 2014

Sales announces retirement

ESPNcricinfo staff

Northamptonshire's veteran batsman David Sales is to retire at the end of the season. The 36-year-old, who made his debut for the county in 1996, had signed a one-year contract after Northamptonshire's promotion in 2013 but a succession of injuries have curtailed his involvement this year.

Sales was never capped by England, despite being called up to the A side, but scored over 14,000 first-class runs, as well as another 8000 in limited-overs cricket. He made an unbeaten 210 on debut against Worcestershire and passed 200 another seven times during his career, including his highest score of 303 not out against Essex at the age of 21.

A stout strokemaker rather than a grafter, "Jumble" passed 1000 runs in each season between 2004 and 2008. His output was thinner after missing the whole of 2009 with a knee injury that required surgery but there was a return to form last season, with three hundreds, including another unbeaten double, as Northamptonshire returned to Division One.

"I have had a fantastic time in cricket, but unfortunately picking up this serious ankle injury and to retire in this way is not how I planned it," Sales said. "I've thoroughly enjoyed my career and the last 20 years at Northants Cricket, and whilst disappointed that I didn't play at the very highest level, I will look back with pride at my achievements.

"Many thanks to the many friends I have made, on and off the pitch, and all of the supporters who have been fantastic to me throughout my career. I wish Northants Cricket and all the lads every success moving forward."

Having missed the start of the season with a calf injury, Sales hurt his ankle in a T20 match. He has only featured in three Championship fixtures, making 103 runs in six innings, as Northamptonshire have struggled to unglue themselves from the foot of the table.

Northamptonshire's head coach, David Ripley, who played alongside Sales for several seasons said: "Jumble's retirement signals the end of an era at Northants. An international class batsman, top slip fielder, astute cricket brain and humorous contributor to dressing room banter, he will be sadly missed. I was fortunate to be playing in his debut match, and have witnessed most of his match-winning innings since then. I would like to thank him personally for his support and friendship and on behalf of everybody at Northants Cricket all the best in his future coaching career."

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