Matthew Hoggard MBE announces his retirement from cricket

Matthew Hoggard MBE has announced his retirement from professional cricket after a glittering 17 year career.

Instrumental in England's victorious 2005 Ashes Series, one of the most popular figures in English cricket and a champion of the sport, former Leicestershire County Cricket Club captain Matthew Hoggard MBE enjoyed an incredible career.

Leicestershire's upcoming four day match against Hampshire will be the cricketer's last professional game and his retirement will formally take effect from the 21st September 2013.

Matthew said: "I want to thank all of my family, friends, my past opponents, the PCA and both Yorkshire and Leicestershire County Cricket Clubs for the support and dedication that they have shown me over the course of my career.

Playing cricket professionally and, of course, playing as part of the national side is a dream that nearly every young boy growing up in Yorkshire shares. I feel truly honoured to have been given such incredible opportunities and I am grateful to everyone that I have worked alongside for the past 17 years."

The England cricketer played a hugely important role in the Ashes in 2005. 24 years since England had last emerged victorious after a clash with their Australian opponents, the win came at a crucial time for the sport. The series marked an incredible shift in momentum and England have since triumphed in a further three Ashes series. Matthew's still stands in eighth position on England's all-time wicket-takers list and was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2006.

Leicestershire Chief Executive Mike Siddall said "Everyone at Leicestershire wishes Matthew and his family the very best for the future following his retirement. He has had a massive influence at the Club during the four years he has been here, not least captaining the County to its third T20 Trophy win at Edgbaston in August 2011. His wicked sense of humour and Yorkshire wit will be missed by all."

Matthew Hoggard is looking forward to his future, working both within and outside of cricket and continuing to build upon the many great experiences that he has already had as part of his remarkable career.