Lancashire stalwart retires

Peter Martin, the opening bowler for Lancashire and, over a handful of matches, for England in the mid-1990s, has announced his retirement because of the knee injury that limited his first-team appearances in 2004 to ten.

Martin, 35, explained, "I have battled all last season with the knee and feel now that due to this and following medical opinion, the time is right to bring my career to a close." He added, "I'm immensely proud of my achievements such as they are, and thank the club for their support in realising my ambitions over the last 18 years."

During his time at Old Trafford, Lancashire won six domestic titles, including two NatWest Trophies. Martin was awarded his cap after a productive season in 1994 when he took 50 Championship wickets for the first time, an achievement he repeated three more times. He finished with over 600 first-class wickets, with a best of 8 for 32 against Middlesex at Uxbridge in 1997, where in helpful bowling conditions he snatched his first five wickets for eight runs in his opening spell.

Mike Watkinson, once his captain and Lancashire's manager, said: "Peter has had a great career and been an important member of the Club's successes over the years. I also feel he was unlucky to have not played more internationals than he did."

Martin made his England debut against West Indies in 1995, in the 1000th one-day international, and won the Man of the Match award for his 4 for 44, figures he never bettered in a further 19 games. His Test career was subject to the foibles of the selectors and he never managed to cement a place. He took 17 wickets in eight matches. When England dismissed Australia for 104 to win by 19 runs at the Oval in 1997, the match that persuaded Mike Atherton not to resign the England captaincy, Martin took a steepling, swirling catch to dismiss Shane Warne. It was his last act as a Test player.