England's most successful test captain Michael Vaughan, well known for his excellent leadership qualities, told that he was retiring from the game, after failing to regain his place in the team for next month's Ashes series against Australia. "It has been a hard decision," Vaughan, 34, told a news conference at Edgbaston.
"The decision came to me two weeks ago. I thought about it in December but I wanted to give myself one last chance of playing against Australia but I haven't been playing well enough and my body is not reacting how I would like it to be." Vaughan, who has been troubled by a chronic knee injury, has not played for his country since resigning as captain last year and passed 50 only three times in 22 innings for Yorkshire.
He was forced to leave the field frequently to rest his troubled knee, raising fresh doubts about his ability to last a five-day test. Vaughan made his test debut for England during the 1999-2000 tour of South Africa and quickly established himself in the team, scoring his maiden test century in 2001 against Pakistan. However, the knee injuries that were to plague his career surfaced in 2001 and he was ruled out of the entire home Ashes series that was won convincingly by Australia.
After more knee problems he returned in time for the 2002-03 Ashes series in Australia, making 177 on the first day of the second test in Adelaide and 145 in Melbourne, knocks that helped him to rise to the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) batting rankings. In July 2003 Vaughan took over the England captaincy from Nasser Hussain, beginning what was to become the most successful reign of an England skipper with a 2-2 home draw with South Africa despite his own lack of form with the bat.
Vaughan led by example in Sri Lanka later that year when he batted for seven-and-a-half hours to score 105, his first test century as captain and an innings that enabled England to save the second test in Kandy. He then led England to their first series victory in the West Indies for 30 years, but the moment that defined his captaincy of England came in 2005 when he outsmarted opposite number Ricky Ponting to win back the Ashes.