Thorpe takes break, wants to devote time to children

Published: Tuesday, July 30, 2002, 16:35 [IST]
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London: England batsman Graham Thorpe said on Monday he would be taking an indefinite break from all first-class cricket in order to spend more time with his children. Thorpe is in the middle of a bitter divorce from his wife Nicky with access arrangements to the couple's two young children yet to be finalised. However, he insisted this latest move did not signal the end of his career. Earlier this month middle-order batsman Thorpe announced his retirement from international One-day cricket so he could see more of his children and keep himself fresh for Tests. But Thorpe, after taking the winning catch in England's first Test victory over India here at Lord's on Monday, a match in which he managed just five runs, had a statement issued on his behalf. It began: "Graham Thorpe today announced that he has decided to take a break from all cricket and will not be available to Surrey and England in the immediate future." In the statement Thorpe said: "This has been a very difficult decision for me to take as I have enjoyed being a part of the Surrey and England dressing rooms this summer and have every intention of continuing my career as a professional cricketer. "But I am feeling very worn-down and burnt out by events off-the-field which have become a major distraction for me and prevented me from fully focusing on my cricket. "What I'm planning to do now is take a break from cricket so I can make my children the number one priority in my life and give myself more time to re-adjust to my changed circumstances. "I'm fully aware of the consequences as far as my England Test place is concerned," added Thorpe, who has appeared in 77 five-day games for his country. "This will create an opportunity for another player to come into the team and I have had to balance that possibility against the needs of my family," the left-hander explained. "Retirement is definitely not in my mind at the moment. I feel that I have plenty more cricket in me at the highest level and hopefully this break will recharge my batteries and allow me to resume my career once my domestic situation has been resolved." Earlier England captain Nasser Hussain said: "Obviously Graham has not been mentally right for this Test. It's something we have to discuss with him." During the winter Thorpe flew home early from England's tour of India in a bid to save his marriage having previously opted out of a tour to South Africa. But he returned for the New Zealand leg of the tour where he made an unbeaten 200 in the first Test at Christchurch. In the second Test against Sri Lanka at Edgbaston concluded last month Thorpe made 123, the last of 11 Test hundreds. Thorpe's Test record: Matches: 77, innings: 140, not outs: 18, highest: 200, Total runs: 5,109, average: 41.87, centuries: 11 and fifties: 30.

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