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Ryan Carters retires at the age of 26

Ryan Carters has decided to pursue his passions outside of cricket Getty Images

Ryan Carters, the New South Wales wicketkeeper-batsman, has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket at the age of 26. Carters is leaving the game to focus on higher education, and will look towards post-graduate opportunities after finishing his current university degree in philosophy, politics and economics.

Along with the LBW Trust, Carters founded the Batting for Change charity, which has the goal of improving educational opportunities for females in cricket-playing nations around the world. Carters said that after more than a decade of concentrating on his on-field activities, he was keen to switch his focus to his other passions.

"In Australia, as in many other countries, professional sportspeople have a reach and reputation, an ability to influence, that is far outside the boundaries of their sporting achievements." Carters said. "I've never been more grateful for that than when I founded Batting for Change and watched it grow and directly transform the lives of disadvantaged young women in need of higher education.

"I've always been conscious that you can't play cricket forever. I'm ready to see if I can find a way to work for social change, for greater fairness in life, away from my sporting pursuits. I'm sure it won't be easy to do that, so the sooner I can get started, the better."

Carters was born and raised in Canberra and played his youth cricket in the ACT under-age sides, before moving to Victoria to begin his state career. He was considered second in line to the wicketkeeping duties behind Matthew Wade at Victoria, and played 11 first-class games for the Bushrangers before moving to New South Wales for the remainder of his career.

He will leave the game with 2515 first-class runs at 35.92 from 43 first-class matches, with a highest score of 209 made against the touring New Zealanders in 2015-16. He also played 22 one-day games with an average of 31.36 and 35 T20 matches. Carters was part of the New South Wales teams that triumphed in the Sheffield Shield final in 2013-14 and the Matador Cup in 2015-16.

Last summer, Carters played three Matador Cup games, four Shield matches before Christmas, and one BBL game for the Sydney Sixers, before finishing the summer in the New South Wales second XI. He chose not to see out the remainder of his contract with New South Wales.

"I'm extremely grateful for the support of Cricket NSW since I started at the Blues in 2013 - it has been a wonderful place to play cricket," he said. "However, I'm now ready to pursue new kinds of challenges."

"I've had twin passions in my life since I can remember - cricket and learning. I'm at the point where, after eight rewarding years of professional cricket, it's time for me to follow the other path I've always felt as strongly about."