County news March 30, 2015

Best forced to retire after back injuries

ESPNcricinfo staff

Paul Best captained England Under-19s © Getty Images

Paul Best, the Warwickshire slow left-arm spinner, has been forced to retire after an injury-plagued two years. He travelled to the club's pre-season tour to the Caribbean but decided his body was not up to professional sport.

Best, 24, scored a first-class century for Cambridge MCCU in a famous win over Surrey, who were captained by Kevin Pietersen. Best also took a five-for against Essex and briefly tasted first XI action with Warwickshire.

"The stress fractures I have had to endure the last two seasons have taken their toll on my body and I do not believe I can perform to the level I have in the past," Best said. "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Warwickshire both as a professional and an age-group player and I would like to thank everyone involved for their invaluable support."

Warwickshire director of cricket Dougie Brown added: "Paul was an outstanding junior cricketer, having captained England U19s and having been part of the Bears squad that reached the Clydesdale Bank 40 over Final at Lord's in 2012. His back injury struck at just the wrong time in his development as a professional cricketer and his first team appearances have been limited over recent seasons as a result."

Best appears well-placed for a career outside cricket, having graduated from Homerton college, Cambridge with a degree in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic.