London: Leading England batsman Graham Thorpe announced his retirement from One-day International cricket on Saturday.
The 32-year-old left-handed batsman said he wanted to spend more time with his two children and his body could not take playing Test cricket as well as One-day Internationals. His announcement means he will not be a member of England's squad at next year's World Cup in South Africa. "I have made this decision for two reasons," he said in a statement. "Firstly, in terms of keeping my body fit, it is becoming harder to do so playing both Tests and One-day Internationals for England, so I have decided to concentrate on just playing Test matches.
"Secondly I want to have more time to build a relationship with my two children, given my new personal circumstances at home" (Thorpe and his wife are in the process of a divorce). Thorpe added, "It is an exciting time for the England One-day team with our performances steadily improving over the past 18 months. I wish them the best of luck in the Champions Trophy, in Australia and of course especially in the World Cup next year." England captain Nasser Hussain, a longstanding international team-mate of Thorpe's said, "It's a massive blow.
He's the first casualty of the amount of cricket we've been playing." Meanwhile England coach Duncan Fletcher said, "Graham got an ankle injury halfway through the series which allowed us to play Michael Vaughan. "Given that he let us know of his decision to retire from the One-day team at the time, we decided it was a good opportunity to continue with Michael in the side and let him gain further valuable experience in One-day cricket."
Former Zimbabwe star Fletcher added, "Graham has been a fantastic One-day player for England and we will miss him, but we look forward to him continuing as a key player in our Test match side." Thorpe played the first of his 82 One-day Internationals against Australia in 1993 and averaged 37.18 hitting a top score of 89.