County news February 4, 2004

Vince Wells announces retirement

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Vince Wells has announced his retirement from first-class cricket. Wells, who began his career at Kent before moving to Leicestershire in 1992, signed for Durham at the start of the 2003 season.

A typical bits-and-pieces English allrounder (he bowled medium-pace wobblers and batted in the middle order) Wells - at 33 - was a surprise choice for the England one-day side in Australia in 1998-99. He took 3 for 30 - including three of the top four - in the first Carlton & United Series final against Australia and then cracked 33 in 39 balls. It was enough to keep him in the squad for the 1999 World Cup, but although he featured in England's warm-ups in Sharjah, he didn't play a game in the tournament.

He explained that the decision was brought about by a desire to pursue business interest in southern England. "I'm disappointed to have to draw a line under my time at Durham early," he said, "but this opportunity is too good to turn down."

David Harker, Durham's chief executive, added: "We are sorry to lose the services of such an experienced and admired player, but we understand his need to move on. On behalf of everyone at Durham I wish him the best of luck for the future."

Durham will retain his registration for the coming season in case of emergencies.