Worcestershire seamer Matt Mason has decided to retire from first-class cricket with immediate effect following ten years at New Road.
Mason has lost his battle for fitness following a shoulder operation in 2008 which has restricted his effectiveness this season.
His decision to retire was taken after an unsuccessful return to action in the June 22 defeat by Sri Lanka in a one-day tour match at Worcester.
“It is with a great deal of pride and more than a hint of sadness that I have decided to retire from cricket with immediate effect,” Mason said.
“ The ongoing battle I have had with my shoulder, since a major operation in 2008, has finally taken its toll and has brought about this decision.
“I have had a career with Worcestershire that I am extremely proud of, and to try to extend it further while battling with injury would only do myself, my team-mates, and all our loyal supporters a great disservice.
“The decision to accept Tom Moody’s offer to play cricket for Worcestershire back in 2001, after initially turning him down, has proven to be the right one as it is my tenth season as a Worcestershire cricketer.
“ During this time I have managed just over 100 first-class games and more than 300 first-class wickets which, after making the move from Australia to England, I never thought I would achieve. Opportunities in one-day cricket during recent years have been few but back-to-back Lord’s finals in the C & G Trophy are amongst many memories I will cherish as a player.”
Mason, 37, was picked up by Worcestershire after he was released by Western Australia and used his Irish ancestry to play county cricket as a domestic-qualified player. He is now married to a local girl and has become part of Steve Rhodes’s coaching set up at New Road.
“Worcestershire is a very special cricket club, run and supported by very special people, and I want to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my Worcestershire playing career,” he added.
“To the team-mates I have shared the field with, a huge thank you, and I would also like to say a special thank you to Steve Rhodes for his constant encouragement and support particularly in recent seasons. His passion for cricket, and especially this club, is certainly shared by me and I look forward to now working with him as a coach.
“The past two seasons as a player/bowling coach have been very rewarding but now to have the full-time role of bowling coach presents me with a great challenge. The prospect of nurturing our current crop of talented young bowlers as well as unearthing future stars is exciting and I’m looking forward to contributing to Worcestershire’s future success, only now it won’t be with the ball in my hand.”