Cricket: Boon's last season

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THE FORMER Australian Test batsman, David Boon, announced yesterday that he planned to retire from first-class cricket at the end of this year.

The stocky number three batsman told a news conference in Hobart, Tasmania, that he wants to spend more time with his family.

Boon retired from Test cricket in 1996 after 107 appearances for Australia but had continued playing first-class cricket in Australia and England for the past three seasons. Last year he captained Durham in the County Championship and will fill the same position this season.

Boon, 38, said his last match in Australia would be for Tasmania in the Sheffield Shield game between the island state and New South Wales, which began last night.

He made his first-class debut for Tasmania at the age of 17 in the 1978/79 season.