James Tomlinson, the Hampshire left-arm seamer, has announced his retirement after a 14-year career, saying he feels like the "old dog" at the back of pack and now is the time to "head back to the den".
Tomlinson, 34, played 129 first-class matches taking 382 wickets at 31.92 with a career-best 8 for 46 against Somerset, at Taunton, in 2008. Known for his humorous personality, Tomlinson confirmed his retirement with a colourful statement.
"I remember years ago watching a nature documentary that followed a pack of wild dogs on a hunt. At the front of the pack there were the young and keen dogs who couldn't wait to get stuck in, then in the middle were the experienced, healthy dogs who knew what they were doing and held the pack together.
"But I will never forget the image of one old dog at the back of the pack trying to keep up. He had half a leg missing and an ear hanging off from what must have been years of previous battles. When he finally arrived at the scene all that was left were scraps... Although I was once both the young dog at the front and the healthy dog in the middle I feel now is the right time to head back to the den. I now have the opportunity to do just that and look after all the young dogs coming through. A job I already love and cherish."
He went on to thank his brothers, Hugh and Ralph, as well as former Pakistan great Wasim Akram who had a spell with Hampshire in 2003 which was early in Tomlinson's career. He also praised Hampshire's slip cordon and the Dukes ball used in county cricket, before signing off in light-hearted style.
"However I would most like to thank the opposition batters who somehow for over a decade missed the straight ones and nicked the half volleys... to you all I will be forever grateful!"