Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

England and Surrey all-rounder Zafar Ansari retires from cricket aged 25

Ansari made his England Test debut last October Credit: PA

Surrey all-rounder Zafar Ansari, who made his England Test debut last year, has announced his retirement from cricket at the age of 25.

Ansari was selected for England to face Bangladesh in October, but has retired with immediate effect to explore other opportunities.

In a statement on Surrey's website, Ansari said he could pursue a career in law, having studied for a Master's in history at the University of London while playing for club and country.

Ansari received a distinction for his degree, while he also attended Cambridge University, where he achieved a Double First in Politics, Philosophy and Sociology in 2013.

The all-rounder had been with Surrey since the age of eight, and went on to make his ODI debut with England in 2015.

This has been a very difficult decision to make and I have not made it lightly.

Surrey have always completely supported me and I am extremely grateful to the club for their backing over the years. It is, therefore, with great sadness that I say goodbye.

Nevertheless, I have always been clear that when the time was right for me to move on I would, and that time has now come.

While the timing may come as a surprise, I have always maintained that cricket was just one part of my life and that I have other ambitions that I want to fulfil.

With that in mind, I am now exploring another career, potentially in law, and to achieve this I have to begin the process now.

– Ansari on Surrey's website

Former England captain Alec Stewart, who is the current director of cricket at Surrey, admits Ansari will be missed.

"Zafar’s exceptionally tough but considered decision is one that we should all respect and understand," Stewart said.

"To retire at such a young age when his cricket career was progressing very nicely, earning a Test debut against Bangladesh last winter, proves that he has given great thought in deciding to walk away from the professional game.

"He will be missed by all his Surrey team mates, members and supporters and I speak on behalf of everyone in thanking him for his loyal service.

"We wish Zafar the very best in whatever the future holds for him and he will always be welcomed back to the Kia Oval with open arms."