August 6, 2003

Giddins retires from first-class cricket

Wisden CricInfo staff

Ed Giddins today announced his retirement from first-class cricket, bringing the curtain down on a 12-year career of ups and downs.

Ed Giddins celebrates another Zimbabwean wicket with Nasser Hussain

Giddins, 32, played four Tests for England in 1999 and 2000, and his finest hour was his Man-of-the-Match performance of 5 for 15 against Zimbabwe at Lord's. He played in the following match against Zimbabwe that 2000 summer, but struggled against West Indies at Edgbaston and was never seen again.

He made his first-class debut for Sussex in 1991, but left under a cloud in 1996 after a positive test for recreational drugs which resulted in an 18-month ban from county cricket. He came back with Warwickshire two years later, then joined Surrey in 2001 with his reputation enhanced as an international. Surrey released him after two seasons and he completed his county career with Hampshire, from whom he departed today after making only three appearances this summer.

Speaking at The Rose Bowl, Giddins said: "Throughout my career I have always set myself high standards of fitness and ability. There is no doubt that despite some adequate performances for Hampshire, it has become more and more difficult to dig deep enough on every occasion. I therefore feel that it is fairest to both Hampshire and myself that I bow out now and avoid any public deterioration in my performances."

He added: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my career with each of the four counties I have represented, and I wish them all well for the future."

Paul Terry, Hampshire's team manager, said: "We fully respect Ed's decision and wish him well for the future. His record is up there with the best of them and speaks for itself. Although we probably did not see the best of Ed at Hampshire, those who saw him bowl at Worcester in the first game of the season and later against Zimbabwe will have seen the quality that brought him 12 years at the top."

Away from cricket, Giddins earned a bob or two selling Christmas trees with former Surrey team-mate Nadeem Shahid, and was also chosen as one of England's three most eligible bachelors by Company magazine in March 1995.