Sean Ervine, the former Zimbabwe allrounder, has announced his retirement from professional cricket with immediate effect.

His decision came two matches into a loan deal with Derbyshire after his opportunities at Hampshire dried up and he led the team off at the end of their game with Kent.

"Yesterday I made the biggest decision of my life," Ervine said. "After 14 years playing county cricket I have decided to hang up my number 7 shirt. I'd like to say a huge thank you to Rod [Bransgrove] & Hampshire for giving me the opportunity to advance my career, after having to retire from international cricket with Zimbabwe prematurely.

"I've been lucky to play alongside some wonderful people along the way and made some fantastic friends. To the fans who have supported me all these years, I salute you. I'm extremely proud of what I've achieved, and I feel honoured that I got to achieve it at Hampshire.

"I've always put the team first above everything else, and done it wholeheartedly. I'd finally like to thank my family for their phenomenal sacrifices and support over the years, of which my dream couldn't be possible."

Ervine, 35, finished his international career in 2004 after five Tests and 42 ODIs amid the mass of players leaving Zimbabwe cricket and forged a highly successful career with Hampshire. He finishes with 11,390 first-class runs alongside 280 wickets, 5716 runs and 206 List A wickets and over 3000 T20 runs alongside 68 wickets.

Hampshire's director of cricket, Giles White, said: "Sean has been an outstanding player for the club over many years and will be greatly missed, not only on the pitch but also in the dressing room. He made an immediate impact upon arrival at Hampshire and has gone on to play an important role in one of the most successful periods in the club's history, with seven major trophies won across all formats."

Billy Godleman, the Derbyshire captain, said: "Sean shared with the group today that he's had a long hard think about his career and he's decided to retire as of today from the game.

"Although he's only been with us for a couple of games, we've all played against him for many years and he's been a fantastic performer and most importantly a really good solid cricket man and he's one of the good guys in professional cricket."

When Ervine joined Derbyshire he said he was looking for an opportunity having not played in the Hampshire first team since June. "The aim now is to be as competitive as possible in the final run of games and see where that can take us."

However, in two Championship matches he made 2, 1, 26 and 22