Instrumental in England’s victorious 2005 Ashes Series, one of the most popular figures in English cricket and a champion of the sport, Leicestershire County Cricket Club’s Matthew Hoggard MBE has announced his retirement after an incredible 17 year career.
Leicestershire’s upcoming LV=CC match against Hampshire will be the cricketer’s last professional game and his retirement will formally take effect from the 21st September.
Hoggard said: “I want to thank all of my family, friends, my past opponents, the PCA and both Yorkshire and Leicestershire County Cricket Clubs for the support and dedication that they have shown me over the course of my career. I have been inspired by so many different people and the late Phil Carrick is just one example of someone who supported me from the very beginning and I owe him a lot.
“Playing cricket professionally and, of course, playing as part of the national side is a dream that nearly every young boy growing up in Yorkshire shares. I feel truly honoured to have been given such incredible opportunities and I am grateful to everyone that I have worked alongside for the past 17 years.
“I want to thank my wife Sarah for the immense support she has shown me throughout my career. She has always been there for me and has continued to help me to do the very best that I can for my team, both on an international and county level.
“Nothing will ever replace the role that cricket has played in my life but I am looking forward to a new chapter and the chance to spend a little more time with my family. Cricket will continue to be hugely important to me and I wish Leicestershire the very best of luck for the future.”
Leicestershire Chief Executive Mike Siddall said “Everyone at Leicestershire wishes Matthew and his family the very best for the future following his retirement.
“He has had a massive influence at the Club during the four years he has been here, not least captaining the county to its third t20 Trophy win at Edgbaston in August 2011. His wicked sense of humour and Yorkshire wit will be missed by all.”
Hoggard is the joint-seventh leading wicket taker in England's test match history after claiming 248 wickets from 67 matches. The Yorkshireman also appeared in 26 ODIs for England, taking 32 wickets at an average of 36.00 with a best of 5-49.
Hoggard was chosen to lead England’s attack in India in 2001-02 despite having played only two test matches at that point. It was part of an excellent winter for the swing bowler, who went on to take 7-63 against New Zealand in Christchurch.
His stock rose even further in 2004 as Hoggard bowled so well throughout England’s unbeaten year. He took a hat-trick against West Indies in Barbados and then claimed a twelve-wicket haul – his best return in an England shirt – to lead the country to a famous series win against South Africa in Johannesburg.
That match return included figures of 7-61 in the second innings to help give England a 2-1 lead that they held on to. Hoggard then played a hugely important role in the Ashes in 2005. 24 years since England had last emerged victorious after a clash with their Australian opponents, the win came at a crucial time for the sport.
Hoggard went on to captain Leicestershire CCC for three years, including leading the side to t20 success at Edgbaston in 2011, and has taken more than 100 first-class wickets for the Club.
He is now looking forward to his future, working both within and outside of cricket and continuing to build upon the many great experiences that he has already had as part of his impressive career.