Allan Donald has decided to retire from all forms of cricket after a neck injury had prevented him from bowling for the Eagles this season. Donald, 38, had already retired from international cricket during the 2003 World Cup, but he continued to play for Free State and the Eagles in 2003-04.

"At the end of the season I won't look back and say 'if only I could have played until the end of this season,'" he said." I think the timing is right and I look forward to working with Corrie [Van Zyl]."

In a career that spanned 19 years, he took over 1,200 first-class wickets, including 330 in Test matches. He represented Warwickshire from 1987 to 2000, and his 684 wickets in limited-overs cricket, with 272 in internationals, is second only to Wasim Akram, who finished with 881. Neither's tally is likely to be be bettered by anyone.

His career had many highlights, including taking the new ball in South Africa's first international after re-admission: a one-day match against India in 1991-92 at Calcutta (as it was then) when he took 5 for 29. His duel with Michael Atherton at Trent Bridge in 1998, which they each viewed as a career highlight, played a crucial part in England's subsequent series victory. Atherton had refused to walk despite plainly gloving Donald to Mark Boucher, and England won the Test the following day.

Donald will not leave cricket entirely, however, as he will stay involved in the management team with the Eagles, assisting the bowlers, and Warwickshire has appointed him coach of their second XI.