Anthony McGrath hopes to continue his 17-year association with Yorkshire after being forced to announce his retirement from playing by a thumb injury that troubled him for most of last summer.
The 37-year-old Bradford-born batsman, who was out of contract, ends his illustrious career in good shape, having scored two centuries and averaged 48.66 during Yorkshire’s successful promotion campaign last summer.
He retires 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 his long-standing thumb injury has ended speculation about whether he would be offered a new deal.
“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.
“It’s been an honour and a privilege to have represented Yorkshire throughout my professional career. I have been involved with this great club every summer since I was 12 and it is going to be difficult not having the opportunity to play again.
“I’d like to thank the club, the members and all the coaches for their help throughout my career.
“Above all else, my last word goes to my team-mates, who I have shared the greatest of times with over the past 20 years. I have met some great people that have become my closest of friends.”
He 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 Yorkshire although Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s director of cricket, hopes he will retain his links with the club in the future.
“Anthony has been a great servant to Yorkshire County Cricket Club,” said Moxon. “It has been a privilege to play with and coach Anthony. 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.”
McGrath is believed to be looking at his options for the future, which may involve a non-coaching role with Yorkshire, but his plans are yet to be finalised.
A former Yorkshire captain, McGrath was renowned throughout the game for his sense of humour and was often the instigator of dressing room pranks, including cutting the toes off socks.
Current Yorkshire captain Andrew Gale admitted: “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.”