County news June 5, 2015

Eye injury forces Kieswetter retirement

ESPNcricinfo staff

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Craig Kieswetter, the England ODI and T20 wicketkeeper who was Man of the Match in the 2010 World T20 final, has announced his retirement following the eye injury he sustained last year.

Kieswetter was struck in the face when a ball went between his helmet and grille when playing against Northamptonshire, breaking his nose and damaging his eye socket. He returned for two matches at the end of the 2015 season, then went to play T20 in South Africa, but struggled with the effects of the injuries.

Earlier this year he said he would take this season off from playing for Somerset to try and make a full recovery but even at that stage admitted he may have to curtail his career.

"After been given the opportunity to take some time off and step away from the game, I've come to the decision that wasn't the easiest to make, yet I feel is the right one," Kieswetter said. "Having gone through that experience of my eye injury and everything it entailed, I feel mentally I will never again be the player that I was."

"I have had a terrific career, with plenty of ups and occasional downs, and I am calling time on my career and walking away with no regrets.

"There are so many people that I am grateful to yet most importantly I need to thank my family, without whom nothing I have achieved would have been possible. Their sacrifices to help me to be able to achieve some fantastic success defines the importance of family.

"I'd also like to thank Somerset for giving me the opportunity to play as a professional, to help mould me and for their loyalty. It is a club full of so many incredible people and with a great bunch of supporters.

"I would especially like to thank Brian Rose, the former director of cricket who gave me my first contract at Somerset, Andy Hurry who was my first team coach and Darren Veness who helped to make me into what I am today. These three guys have been huge influences to me in my career."

Kieswetter played 46 ODIs for England and 25 T20s having made his international debut in February 2010 against Bangladesh. He scored a century in his third ODI, in Chittagong, and then became an integral part of the team which won the World T20 in the Caribbean after Andy Flower made a late decision to partner him and Michael Lumb at the top of the order.

Kieswetter made 63 off 49 balls in the final against Australia as England secured what remains their only piece of global silverware. His last involvement around an England squad was when he was called up as a replacement during the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh.

In first-class cricket he scored 5728 runs at 39.23 with 11 hundreds and in total also scored 11 hundreds in List A cricket.

Guy Lavender, the Somerset chief executive, said: "This is awful news both for Craig and the club but we completely understand why he has come to this difficult decision.

"Craig has made an immense contribution to the success of Somerset and England since joining us. His performances with the bat and gloves have been outstanding and have endeared him to all cricket fans, not just at Somerset but right across the globe."

Director of cricket Matthew Maynard said: "This is sad news for all concerned. Craig is a very popular member of the squad and has made a real impression on the club during his years here. He has been a major influence both on and off the field and will be missed by players, coaches, staff and fans alike.

"At his best Craig was one of, if not the most explosive 'keeper-batsman' in the game. He is an extremely gifted cricketer who could win a game on his own. His record speaks for itself and the game will miss him. I would have loved to have worked with him this year but it just wasn't to be."

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