Worcestershire seamer Matt Mason has announced his retirement from competitive cricket with immediate effect, citing his long-standing shoulder injury as the reason behind his decision.
"It is with a great deal of pride and more than a hint of sadness that I have decided to retire from cricket with immediate effect," read a statement released by Mason. "The ongoing battle I have had with my shoulder, since a major operation in 2008, has finally taken its toll and has brought about this decision.
Originally from Western Australia, where he started his career in 1996-97, Mason, 37, joined Worcestershire in 2001. He took 314 first-class wickets for them, and 318 overall, at an average of 26.91 and defied the years to help them to promotion in 2010 with 31 Championship wickets at 27.38.
"I have had a career with Worcestershire that I am extremely proud of, and to try and extend it further while battling with injury would only do myself, my team-mates, and all our loyal supporters a great disservice," continued Mason.
"Worcestershire is a very special cricket club, run and supported by very special people, and I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my Worcestershire playing career.
"To the team-mates I have shared the field with a huge thank you to you, and I would also like to say a special thank you to Steve Rhodes for his constant encouragement and support particularly in recent seasons. His passion for cricket, especially the club, is certainly shared by me and I look forward to now working with him as a coach.
"The past two seasons as a player and bowling coach have been very rewarding but now to have the full-time role of bowling coach presents me with a great challenge. The prospect of nurturing our current crop of talented young bowlers as well as unearthing future stars is exciting and I'm looking forward to contributing to Worcestershire's future success, only now it won't be with the ball in my hand."
"Matt has been a very dedicated player, his enthusiasm for the game was there until the very end," added Rhodes, Worcestershire's director of cricket. "I am sure that he will approach his coaching career in the same manner."