Dean Headley today announced to Kent County Cricket Club and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) that he has retired from First Class Cricket.

Dean Headley said, "I sustained a back injury in April 2000, whilst under ECB contract, and I feel that, on medical grounds, I have been left with no option but to retire.

Headley - forced retirementPhoto Paul McGregor

"I have enjoyed the years playing cricket for Kent, Middlesex and England, and am naturally very disappointed to have to make this announcement."

John Carr, ECB Director of Cricket Operations, said, "This is a great blow, not only for Dean, but for English cricket. Dean was an excellent bowler who represented his country with great distinction. Few will forget his spell of five wickets for nine runs against Australia in the fourth Test at Melbourne in 1998-99, which earned him the Man of the Match award and England a famous victory. We wish him all the very best for the future."

Matthew Fleming, Captain of Kent ARY, said "On behalf of everyone at Kent I would like to pay tribute to Dean and the enormous contribution he has made to Kent and Kent cricket since his debut for the County in 1993.

"Statistics alone will never show his full value, both in the dressing room and on the pitch. As a fearsome opening bowler, no mean batsman and a brilliant athlete, Dean will be irreplaceable at Kent. We all wish him well in the future in whatever he does."