Surrey cricket November 17, 2008

Butcher dismisses retirement talk

Cricinfo staff

Mark Butcher: determined to return for the 2009 season © Getty Images
Surrey's captain, Mark Butcher, is adamant that his career is far from over, despite being ruled out for several months of the 2008 season with a serious knee injury.

Butcher started the season impressively, averaging 57.88 in ten matches, but without him at the helm Surrey endured a disastrous campaign. They failed to win a Championship match all season, and Mark's father, Alan, was sacked as coach after their relegation to Division Two.

"There are all kind of things to look forward to next year," Butcher told BBC London radio. "There will be a new coach and a new relationship to strike up there, there are some players with points to prove and there's young guys wanting to break through.

"There's a few questions to be answered in terms of the way that people have viewed the club and the players in the last 12 months or so and hopefully [we'll have] a chance to put that right."

At the age of 36, Butcher's career is nearing an end, but he's determined not to be forced into an early retirement, especially after his England career was cut short in 2004 by a wrist injury.

"[The knee] has reacted well to the surgery," said Butcher. "The surgery was absolutely necessary; the knee had really started to disintegrate in terms of the joint. There were great craters where the bone was missing and were there was no cartilage left, so all of that needed sorting out and, fingers crossed, we are on schedule at the moment.

"The recovery is going perfectly well, I'm hobbling on crutches and will be for the next three or four weeks. But hopefully there's many seasons to look forward to. The great thing about it is that I've proved I can still play the way that I know that I can, and want, to play."