Fletcher backs Vaughan retirement decision

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The Independent Online

Duncan Fletcher believes Michael Vaughan is making the right decision by retiring from all cricket, hailing the former England captain as a "gutsy fighter" of whom the game "can be very proud".

Vaughan, formerly the world's top-ranked batsman and the man who oversaw England's 2005 Ashes triumph, is expected to announce his retirement from all forms of the game at Edgbaston tomorrow.

Former England coach Fletcher gave Vaughan his Test debut in 1999 before making him captain in 2003 and told the Guardian: "Vaughan was a classy batsman, but he became a marvellous captain and a good friend. English cricket can be very proud of him.

"The public saw one side only: a batsman who could cover-drive and pull like a dream, and a tactically astute leader who brought the best out of his players.

"What they didn't see was the gutsy fighter who could score 177 with a busted knee, as he did in Adelaide in 2002-03, or the burning desire which once made him furious with me when I told him he couldn't play in a one-dayer at Bristol against the Aussies because of a serious finger injury."

Fletcher added: "It's sad that he's going to announce his retirement, but reluctantly I have to say he's made the right decision.

"Cricket, and not just English cricket, will miss him."