WARWICKSHIRE wicketkeeper/batsman Tim Ambrose has announced he will retire at the end of the 2020 season following 20 years in the professional game.
Since joining from Sussex in 2006, Ambrose, 37, has won four domestic trophies across all three formats of the game with Warwickshire.
In 2019 he passed the 1,000 career dismissals milestone and his 811 victims for Warwickshire alone is only surpassed by Geoff Humpage.
With the bat, Ambrose has scored 16,902 runs across all the three formats to date, including 21 centuries.
His performances in his first two seasons with the Bears saw him called up to England’s Test team for the 2008 tour of New Zealand and he would go on to make a century in just the second Test of his career at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
He went on to win 11 Test, five One-Day International and one T20 International caps for England, scoring an unbeaten 76 in what proved to be his final Test versus West Indies in Bridgetown.
Ambrose, who released a fuller statement about his decision on edgbaston.com, said: “I have decided that, after 20 years, it is time for me to retire from cricket and Warwickshire County Cricket Club.
“I will say the usual words of ‘honour and privilege’ but will know that to me they don’t quite convey my gratitude for the opportunity I have had.
“I still very much consider myself a part of this squad and fully intend to fulfil my role for the remainder of the 2020 season.
“It is a difficult thing to accept as I would love to play another 20 years, if it was at all possible, but it is the right time for this talented, energetic and ambitious young squad to move forward and make their own mark.
“I have always tried to put the club and the team first and to not make this decision now would go against that.”
Paul Farbrace, sport director at Warwickshire CCC, said: “Tim has been one of the great wicketkeeper/batsmen of the modern game and he will retire at the end of this year as a true Warwickshire legend.
“He’s a model professional and, by playing out the 2020 season, we will ensure he has a very fitting farewell before he moves on to his next challenge.
“We thank him for his outstanding efforts for Warwickshire and wish him the very best for this upcoming 2020 season and in his future career.”
Also paying tribute to Ambrose, Warwickshire men’s first team coach Jim Troughton said: “Tim has had a fantastic career – representing England and winning every trophy available in domestic cricket with The Bears.
“His natural ability behind the stumps and his punchy, counter-attacking batting were game-changing.
“His impact with Warwickshire wasn’t just down to statistics, however. He is a genuine team man and often gets as much satisfaction from seeing others’ successes on the field as well as seeing this young group of players develop over the past couple of years.
“Throughout making the decision to retire, he’s always thought about the impact it will have on the team and is completely modest about the important role he’s played in the club’s history.
“A fantastic player and an even better bloke.”