Middlesex pay tribute to pair October 1, 2007

Hutton and Johnson annouce retirements

Cricinfo staff

Ben Hutton struggled to contribute consistently for Middlesex in recent years © Martin Williamson
Middlesex's Ben Hutton and Richard Johnson have both announced their retirement with immediate effect.

Johnson, 32, had two spells at Middlesex either side of six years with Somerset. He made three appearances for England in 2003 and 2004, winning the Man-of-the-Match award in two of them. He was in the reckoning for a cap almost a decade earlier but he had to withdraw from the 1995-96 tour of South Africa after picking up a back injury. The previous summer he had hit the headlines when he took all ten wickets in an innings against Derbyshire. He returned to Lord's in 2007 but was unable to force his way into the first team.

Hutton, 30, never quite fulfilled his early promise but he became a solid county batsman, passing 1000 runs in 2004 and 2005. Midway through 2004 he was appointed Middlesex captain but that seemed to seriously affect him in 2006. The side was in turmoil and the burden weighed heavily on his health. Although Ed Smith took charge in 2007, Hutton was unable to regain his place in the side.

"It's with great regret that I decide to finish with the game," Hutton said. "A lack of first team opportunity has made it a difficult season to enjoy and it seems sensible, at this point in my life, to pursue something more progressive and enhancing. It is important that Middlesex's many talented young batters are given an opportunity and I do not want to stand in their way."

"Both Ben and Richard have been excellent players and great supporters of the club and very much wish to remain a part of the Middlesex family," said Vinny Codrington, Middlesex's chief executive. "Ben took over the captaincy in July 2004 under difficult circumstances and did a fantastic job through to the end of the 2006 season.

"Jono started his cricket with Middlesex at the age of 11 and although he disappeared to Somerset, all at Middlesex followed his progress carefully and were delighted when he was capped for England.

"Both Ben and Jono provided much needed experience to, and were instrumental in the club capturing the Second XI Trophy this season and the club thank them both for their hard work and wish them both every success in the future."