Former England batsman Key retires


Former England batsman Rob Key announced his retirement from professional cricket on Monday.

The 36-year-old Kent stalwart played 15 Tests and five one-day internationals in a three-year spell from 2002-2005, with the highlight a Test double-century against the West Indies at Lord’s in 2004.

But that innings of 221 was his lone hundred in a Test career that yielded 775 runs at a modest average of 31.

For all the sense that he didn’t do justice to his talent at international level, Key was a heavy scorer in first-class cricket with nearly 20,000 runs, with 54 hundreds, in 299 matches at an average of over 40.

Key spent his entire 18-year career with Kent and announced his retirement in a statement on the south-east county’s website.

“The club and I have come to a mutual agreement, after a long and enjoyable career, to call it a day,” he said.

“It’s time for the younger players to have their chance, and it doesn’t feel right for me to stand in their way any more,” added Key, whose lone Twenty20 international appearance came during England’s shock loss to the Netherlands in the opening match of the 2009 World Twenty20 at Lord’s.

“I would like to say a massive thank you to all who have supported me throughout my career,” said Key. “It has been a great honour to represent Kent.

“I don’t know what the future holds, but I look forward to what the next chapter has in store,” added the opener, who has recently been forging a second career as a television cricket pundit with Sky Sports.

Key was Kent captain for nine years in two spells, before stepping down from the position at the end of last season.

“Rob has been an outstanding servant of Kent and England throughout his career,” said Kent chairman George Kennedy.

“He is a club man and selfless captain, whose records will stand as testament to his ability with the bat.

“Perhaps more importantly his leadership and loyalty to Kent in some turbulent times has helped lead the club to a much stronger place.

“The current crop of exciting talent has learnt much from his time at the helm.”

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