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Anthony McGrath quits but hopes to stay on in Yorkshire role
Anthony McGrath wants to continue his association with Yorkshire after ending 17 years as a player by announcing his retirement.
The Bradford-born batsman, who was out of contract, ends his illustrious career in good shape, having scored two centuries and averaging 48.66 during his side’s successful promotion campaign last summer.
He retires aged 37 with 35 first-class centuries for Yorkshire since making his debut in 1995, representing his county in 257 first-class matches and 296 List A games.
But any hopes of securing a new deal have been ended by a persistent thumb injury sustained last summer.
“I’d have liked to have played on for another year or two but the injury has prevented me from doing that,” said McGrath.
“I’m not going to rush into any decision about my future but I will see if there is a role for me at Yorkshire and look at some other options before I decide on anything.
“I would like to stay involved in the game but we will have to see what happens.”
McGrath recorded his highest first-class score of 211 against Warwickshire at Edgbaston in 2009 and also became a useful medium-paced swing bowler, claiming 134 first-class wickets at an average of 35, and played four Tests and 14 one-day internationals for England.
His retirement leaves Ryan Sidebottom as the only surviving member of the title-winning squad of 2001 still playing at Headingley, although Yorkshire director of cricket Martyn Moxon hopes he will retain his links with the club.
Moxon said: “Anthony has been a great servant to Yorkshire County Cricket Club. It has been a privilege to play with and coach him.
“He has given every ounce of blood, sweat and tears to the county and his role within the dressing room will be sadly missed.
“He is the perfect role model for any aspiring junior wanting to be the best they can be. The way he inspires those around him is his distinct quality.
“I would like to wish him well in the future and hope that he will continue his connection to the club through his coach education qualifications and programme.”
Yorkshire are believed to be considering offering McGrath a non-coaching role but nothing is finalised, although should he remain at Headingley they will retain one of the great characters of the modern game.
The former Yorkshire captain was renowned for his sense of humour and was often the instigator of dressing room pranks, including cutting the toes off socks. Former England captain Andrew Flintoff once named him as “the funniest man in cricket”.
Current Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale added: “The biggest thing I will miss will be his presence in the dressing room.
“He was a great pro, who had an infectious personality that always brought the best out of the other players in the team.”