Byas bows out with career in full bloom

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The England batsman Michael Vaughan and the Australian Darren Lehmann have emerged as front-runners to replace the Yorkshire captain David Byas, who yesterday announced his retirement from the first-class game two weeks after leading the White Roses to their County Championship title since 1968.

The 38-year-old Byas has decided to end his 16-year career with Yorkshire while he was at the top after initially suggesting he would carry on for one or two more years. "Playing cricket for Yorkshire has taken me around the world," said Byas. "I wanted to go while I am still at the top. It has been an unforgettable experience and it has been a great honour to have led the side to the first championship title for 33 years."

In first-class cricket, Byas scored 14,398 runs at an average of 35.37. Yorkshire will not be naming a successor for several weeks as they want Byas to take the team to Buckingham Palace in November as captain. Lehmann has already said he would be willing to take over the role in a short-term capacity.