Former England allrounder and county veteran Dominic Cork has announced his retirement from professional cricket with immediate effect. Cork, 40, had left Hampshire at the end of the 2011 season, and his retirement brings to an end a 21-year professional career.

Always one for the big stage, Cork chose to make the announcement himself live on Sky Sports News. "I'm going to retire from all cricket from now," he said. "It's quite an emotional day for me, it's a hard decision but it's the right decision for me. I'm 40 now, I'm not getting any younger and it's hard work, but I've had a great career."

It seemed retirement might be looming when Hampshire decided not to renew Cork's contract for the 2012 campaign, but there had been talk that more than one second division county was interested in signing him. Ultimately, Cork decided that the time was right for him to go, however, and suggested that his decision was partly motivated by a desire to spend more time with his family, particularly following the recent death of his father.

"There were offers out there, I considered them long and hard and looked at where I wanted to be in my life. Losing my father a month ago, who was one of my biggest inspirations, makes you think about your life and take stock. I want to get back to family life - cricket can make you a selfish person, and it's time to give it back to people."

Cork finishes with 10,114 runs and 989 wickets in first-class cricket, while he also enjoyed some notable successes in limited-overs cricket during his three-year stay at the Rose Bowl, winning the domestic 50-over competition in 2009 and the Friends Provident Twenty20 in 2010. Cork played 32 ODIs and 37 Tests for England between 1992 and 2002 and on the biggest stage in England, at Lord's, Cork took his best Test bowling figures of 7 for 43 in 1995, and played his most famous innings, in 2000, on both occasions against West Indies.

He had been Hampshire's captain since midway through the 2010 season, having begun his first-class career in 1990 and had a long stint with Derbyshire, where he was also captain, before joining Lancashire, until the move to Hampshire in 2009.