Ashes legend Vaughan retires
England's most successful cricket captain calls time on career after loss of form.
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2009 14:39 GMT

Vaughan played his last Test in 2008 [GALLO/GETTY]
England's most successful test captain Michael Vaughan has retired after failing to regain his place in the team for next month's Ashes series against Australia.

Vaughan, who has been troubled by a chronic knee injury, has not played for his country since resigning as captain last year and passed 50 only three times in 22 innings for Yorkshire.

He was forced to leave the field frequently to rest his troubled knee, raising fresh doubts about his ability to last a five-day Test.

"It has been a hard decision," Vaughan, 34, said at Edgbaston cricket ground in Birmingham on Tuesday.

"The decision came to me two weeks ago.

"I thought about it in December but I wanted to give myself one last chance of playing against Australia but I haven't been playing well enough and my body is not reacting how I would like it to be."

Immediate impact

Vaughan made his Test debut for England during the 1999-2000 tour of South Africa and quickly established himself in the team, scoring his maiden Test century in 2001 against Pakistan.

"I wanted to give myself one last chance of playing against Australia but I haven't been playing well enough and my body is not reacting how I would like it to be"

Former England captain Michael Vaughan

However, the knee injuries that were to plague his career surfaced in 2001 and he was ruled out of the entire home Ashes series that was won convincingly by Australia.

After more knee problems he returned in time for the 2002-03 Ashes series in Australia, making 177 on the first day of the second Test in Adelaide and 145 in Melbourne, knocks that helped him to rise to the top of the international batting rankings.

In July 2003 Vaughan took over the England captaincy from Nasser Hussain, beginning what was to become the most successful reign of an England skipper with a 2-2 home draw with South Africa despite his own lack of form with the bat.

Kandy man

Vaughan led by example in Sri Lanka later that year when he batted for seven-and-a-half hours to score 105, his first Test century as captain and an innings that enabled England to save the second Test in Kandy.

Vaughan holds the Ashes urn after beating Australia at the Oval [GALLO/GETTY]
He then led England to their first series victory in the West Indies for 30 years, but the moment that defined his captaincy of England came in 2005 when he outsmarted opposite number Ricky Ponting to win back the Ashes.

Not only were his leadership skills acclaimed during England's first series win against the Australians since 1987 but he scored vital runs, particularly 166 in the drawn match at Old Trafford, the highest individual score in the series.

It proved to be the highlight of Vaughan's captaincy as his suspect knee required more surgery and he played no part two years later when Australia gained revenge with a 5-0 whitewash of England with Andrew Flintoff as stand-in skipper.

Home beating

Vaughan's England were beaten at home by India in 2007 and a year later he suffered a miserable time with the bat in the home series against South Africa before emotionally announcing in August that he was standing down as captain.

Of the 51 Tests in which Vaughan was in charge, England won 26 and lost 11, making him statistically the best captain the country ever had.

Despite still being centrally contracted by the England and Wales Cricket Board, Vaughan was left out of England's 16-man pre-Ashes squad named last week, prompting his decision to retire from the sport.

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