Robin Smith has announced his retirement on the eve of his 40th birthday after a glittering career with Hampshire and England that spans 23 years.
The South African born batsman has scored over 41,000 runs in all forms of cricket, including 88 centuries.
Judge as he has become known worldwide started as a young 16 year old at Natal, he joined Hampshire at 17 hitting a century in his first championship match at 19. He went on to win three cup finals at Lord's, and two National League titles.
He played for England in 62 test matches and 71 One-day internations.
"A hamstring injury has restricted me to just two matches since the beginning of July" said Smith to the gathered press at the Rose Bowl. "My decision to retire with immediate effect comes only after long and careful deliberations. But my body tells me now is the time to go".
"I've enjoyed every minute of the last 23 years and I thank Hampshire for the support that has enabled me to achieve my ambition to playing till the age of 40.."
Rod Bransgrove, chairman of Hampshire Cricket, is unstinting in his praise for the player.
"In my opinion, Robin Smith has been the most influential player in the history of Hampshire Cricket. Besides winning many, many matches, he has also won the hearts and minds of Hampshire supporters everywhere.
"I fully understand and respect Robin's decision to retire from playing and I look forward to working with him in the second phase of his career with Hampshire Cricket."