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Steven Davies, the former England wicketkeeper, has announced his decision to retire at the end of the season. Davies played for Worcestershire, Surrey and Somerset during a 20-year career and was capped 13 times in limited-overs internationals by his country.
In 2011, having been part of England's successful Ashes tour to Australia, he became the first professional cricketer to come out as gay. "I'm comfortable with who I am - and happy to say who I am in public," he told the Telegraph.
Davies came through at Worcestershire, winning England recognition as part of the T20I side in the Caribbean in 2008-09 and an ODI debut later in the year at the Champions Trophy. He moved to Surrey the following season, and was Matt Prior's understudy for the 2010-11 Ashes, although a Test debut never came.
Across seven seasons in London, Davies scored more than 6000 first-class runs at an average of 42.65, as well 2719 in List A cricket and 1584 in T20, helping the club to lift the CB40 trophy in 2011 and the Division Two title in 2015.
He moved to Somerset in 2017, and was part of the team that finished runners-up in the Championship and Bob Willis Trophy three seasons running. This summer, however, the 37-year-old has only played twice in the Championship and five times in the Metro Bank Cup, with the prolific James Rew emerging as first-choice behind the stumps.
"I will always look back at my career with Somerset fondly," Davies said. "During my time here we managed to win a couple of trophies and play some really good red-ball cricket. There was a period around the covid years when we were playing a brand of dominant cricket which will live long in my memory. Unfortunately for us, Essex were too, which meant we couldn't get our hands on that first Championship trophy.
"I feel that now is the right time for me to retire. I always said to the club that as soon as we get the right person in place to take over, I would step aside and let them get their exposure and learning done while they are young. I think we can all agree that Somerset are in safe hands with Rewy behind the stumps.
"I'd like to thank all the members and supporters from Worcestershire, Surrey and Somerset who have always shown me great support. I also need to thank all the directors of cricket, CEOs, coaches and staff for all the opportunities they have given me. A special thank you has to go to Rob Wood, who was my first cricket coach. He gave me the fundamentals and skills needed to get me ready for a life of professional cricket. Finally, and most importantly, I'd like to say the biggest thank you to my family: Lin, Michael and my sister Gemma. They have always been by my side without question. They are great people and I love them all very much. I hope I have done them proud."
Somerset CCC Director of Cricket, Andy Hurry, added: "Steve has had an amazing career within both the international and domestic arenas, and during his time with us he has been the consummate professional. His performances across the formats and his contributions to nurturing the growth of other players have been immense. The calm assuredness and experience that he brought to the dressing room was a key element of our success over the last few years and he will be missed by all those who have played and worked alongside him.
"On behalf of everyone associated with the club; the players, the staff and everyone within the game who has had the privilege to play or work alongside Steve, we thank him for everything. He moves on to this new and exciting chapter in his life with all our best wishes, and we look forward to warmly welcoming him back to the Cooper Associates County Ground in the future."