Nixon announces end to long county career

Leicestershire’s former England one-day international wicketkeeper Paul Nixon has announced that he will retire from county cricket at the end of the season.

Nixon, who is likely to play only Twenty20 cricket for the rest of the season, is likely to make his farewell appearances at Grace Road in the Friends Life t20  quarter-final against his former county Kent on Saturday August 6.

The 40-year-old played for Leicestershire from 1989 to 1999 and rejoined them in 2003 after three seasons with Kent. He won two County Championships and two Twenty20 Cups with Leicestershire and played 19 one-day internationals and a Twenty20 international in 2006-07.

“My body knows now. I can’t do it the way I want to do it anymore; the way I’ve always done it,” Nixon said.

“I can’t keep to those high standards anymore. All of my mentors said to me that you’ll know when the time is right and the time has come. I’ve thought about it for a few months now and am at ease with it. It’s time for the youngsters to have their journeys now.”

Nixon has been a popular figure during his two stints at Grace Road and was Leicestershire captain between 2007 and 2009.

He is out of contract at the end of the season and had flagged up his likely retirement some time ago. Over the past two seasons Nixon has played as a specialist batsman in Championship and Clydesdale Bank 40 cricket to allow Tom New to develop his wicketkeeping.

Nixon has continued to keep in Twenty20 cricket and will hope that he can bow out in style by helping Leicestershire to win the Friends Life competition.

He also has the following message to Leicestershire supporters. He said: “I’ve had a very special journey over the years and I’ve always been thankful to Ken Higgs and Mike Turner for signing me for Leicestershire in 1988.

“The Leicester public has been absolutely phenomenal towards me and I want to thank them for all of their support. I want to thank them for all of the letters they’ve sent and all of the good luck messages as I’ve walked onto the pitch.

“I’ve had a great rapport with the Leicester public; they’ve been very kind and generous towards me and my family and I’ll always remember that. I look forward to meeting more people over the next few months and thanking them in person.”

Although Nixon is sad to be retiring from the game, he feels that the time is right. “I’ve met some amazing people along the way and have some special memories. I’ve loved every ball on the pitch and every moment I’ve been involved in off the pitch too. It’s a very special life and I’ve made sure that I’ve never taken it for granted.”

Nixon is the Foxes’ leading run-scorer in the history of t20 with 1,369 and holds an amazing appearance record in the competition. Nixon has appeared in every single competitive t20 match that Leicestershire have played since the format began in 2003 and that sequence will continue against Kent.

Nixon has also scored 5,821 List A runs in 324 appearances, placing him 7th in the list of leading run-scorers, and features in the highest partnership records for both the fifth and sixth wickets. Nixon has claimed the most dismissals of any Leicestershire player in the one-day game and only Nigel Briers has played more games for the county.

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