New Zealand domestic news November 21, 2011

Thigh injury ends Martin Crowe's comeback

ESPNcricinfo staff

Martin Crowe's comeback to club cricket in Auckland at the age of 48 has ended after he was forced to retire hurt three balls into his first innings. Crowe pulled a muscle while batting for Cornwall against Parnell on November 19.

"While getting off the mark yesterday I pulled a thigh muscle running a normal single into the covers. So three balls into my first premier match back, it's over," Crowe wrote in an email to media outlets. "I said from the start it would end in tears with an injury.

"I pulled a hip flexor in July, a hamstring in August, a groin in October and now a thigh, all upper left leg, all compensating for a dodgy arthritic right knee. No tears, but frustrated after a lot of hard work getting ready."

Crowe had announced his decision to return to competitive cricket in May, 15 years after his retirement. He had been forced to quit international cricket due to a bad knee. He had said he saw his comeback as a means of self-motivation and a tool to get fit - and also an opportunity to score the 392 runs he needs to tally 20,000 first-class runs.

"It was sort of fun along the way," Crowe said. "I got to hit lots of balls over five months, experiencing the joy of batting again. But as soon as it required the important running bit, the old problems kicked in.

"No regrets, although it would've been nice to bat at Cornwall Park once more ... Instead, Parnell CC will be the last ground I walk out on to thinking `head still, play straight'."