England news September 11, 2013

Ashes legend Hoggard to retire

ESPNcricinfo staff
69

Matthew Hoggard, the swing bowler who helped England regain the Ashes in 2005, has announced his retirement after a 17-year career at the age of 36.

He posted on Twitter that it was "time to hang up the boots" five years since the last of his 67 Test matches, during which he took 248 wickets at 30.50 with his prodigious swinging deliveries, becoming the eighth-highest wicket-taker in Tests for England. He also played 26 ODIs and served his home county Yorkshire and latterly Leicestershire with distinction.

Hoggard hoped to play one final season for Leicestershire having signed a contract extension last year but after a bit-part summer, and relinquishing the four-day captaincy, he has decided his playing days are over.

Big, bustling, and with the sort of energy coaches kill for, Hoggard flourished under Duncan Fletcher's regime as England coach, finding a regular place in the side despite Fletcher's love of out-and-out pace bowling.

In 2004, he began the year with a hat-trick in Barbados before helping England to an unbeaten summer against West Indies and South Africa. That winter he single-handedly bowled England to a series-clinching win in Johannesburg, taking 12 wickets in the match.

Then came the legendary Ashes series of 2005. Hoggard took 16 wickets and, perhaps most memorably, struck Brett Lee for four through extra-cover to help England edge home in a nerve-jangling run-chase at Trent Bridge.

"I want to thank all of my family, friends, my past opponents, and both Yorkshire and Leicestershire for the support and dedication that they have shown me over the course of my career," Hoggard said. "I have been inspired by so many different people and the late Phil Carrick is just one example of someone who supported me from the very beginning and I owe him a lot.

"Playing cricket professionally and, of course, playing as part of the national side is a dream that nearly every young boy growing up in Yorkshire shares. I feel truly honoured to have been given such incredible opportunities and I am grateful to everyone that I have worked alongside.

"I want to thank my wife Sarah for the immense support she has shown me throughout my career. She has always been there for me and has continued to help me to do the very best that I can for my team, both on an international and county level.

"Nothing will ever replace the role that cricket has played in my life but I am looking forward to a new chapter and the chance to spend a little more time with my family. Cricket will continue to be hugely important to me and I wish Leicestershire the very best of luck for the future."

Peter Moores, who was Hoggard's England coach towards the end of the his career, paid tribute to him: "He's been a real character. Anyone who takes over 200 wickets for England and bowls the way he did and plays in iconic series like the 2005 Ashes will be satisfied when he looks back on his career.

"He started off as a really quick bowler when he burst on the scene and steadied that down to become a lively, out-swing bowler and very successful at it. He was very skilfull and a bit like we've seen with Jimmy Anderson, he learnt to bowl on the subcontinent, learnt to bowl in different conditions and learnt how to not just bowl in swinging conditions. He learnt how to run the ball on, bowl a cutter and do different things which is always a testament for anyone who has lasted in the game over a decent amount of time."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • warnerbasher on September 14, 2013, 2:19 GMT

    Agree with kjkool82. He was outstanding on the 2006/2007 Ashes tour. A great character and a fine bowler. All the best Hoggy from your army of Australian fans

  • Atul on September 12, 2013, 17:01 GMT

    He was a wonderful bowler but calling him an Ashes legend is a bit of a stretch. Steve Waugh was an Ashes Legend. So was Warne, or for that matter even Freddie Flintoff.

  • kjkool82 on September 12, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    As much as we will talk about his contribution to the 2005 Ashes win, I actually think Hoggards biggest Ashes contribution was in the 2006-07 whitewash. He was the only bowler that could consistently trouble the Aussies, and I will always remember his tireless effort in Adelaide. It would be scary to think how much more of a flogging England would have gotten if it wasn't for him.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge on September 12, 2013, 13:00 GMT

    Anyone who has met the man or remembers his very skillful bowling can attest to Hoggard's brilliance. A true English Lion and Yorkshire Warrior. Great innings Hoggy, enjoy your retirement.

  • Friendlymc on September 12, 2013, 12:23 GMT

    Whether great or legend, 240 wickets is no mean feat! He will have plenty of memorable performances to think back on in his retirement, not least his domination of Matthew Hayden in the 2005 Ashes. Perhaps the real sad part is the manner of his departure from the England team. He deserved much better.

  • DesPlatt on September 12, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    Like Ian MacIntyre, I loved the way he trudged back to his mark as Geoff Arnold , another very fine swing bowler for England used to ; rather like a man walking to his job at a coal mine . Loads of respect for him and hope it's a happy retirement

  • dummy4fb on September 12, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    Great to watch him in action !! mesmerizing swing bowler... Thanks for the entertainment Hoggy !

  • dummy4fb on September 12, 2013, 8:07 GMT

    For the small minority here who want to be pernickety about the term legend, the Ashes series of 2005 was the greatest Ashes ever, and possibly the greatest series of any kind ever. Any player on either side who played in that series is an Ashes legend, from Ricky Ponting to Gary Pratt.

    Hoggard also happens to be one of England's best bowlers of the last 30 years, and the most accomplished of that Ashes quartet by some margin.

  • Tom_Bowler on September 12, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    Matthew Hoggard; top bowler, top man.

    England missed him when he was discarded and the English game will miss him now.

    No one is arguing that Hoggy was the greatest bowler who ever drew breath but his skill, bloody-mindedness, work ethic and love of life mean he was indeed a legend.

    For those who think that their opinion that he can't be called a legend as he once bowled a leg stump half volley is of any significance; the last quality is worth more than rubies and seems to be something you lack.