Knee injury forces Mushtaq retirement

Legendary spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has played his last game for Sussex after confirming his retirement due to a knee injury.

The 38-year-old former Pakistan international - who last played for his country in 2003 - has been one of the the driving forces behind the county's success during his six-year stint at Hove - taking a staggering 598 wickets in all competitions.

Mushtaq won three county championships, a C&G Trophy and the Totesport Division Two title during his time at Sussex but after a season plagued by injury problems, he has decided to call it a day.

Reflecting on his decision, he said: "I would firstly like to thank Allah for providing me with this great family. This is a very hard decision for me to make, as I feel that I could possibly play one more year, but out of respect, I would only do that if I felt 100% and I wouldn't want to risk that for the family.

"I am going to miss playing for the club greatly.

"I am truly honoured to have spent six wonderful years here. There are not enough words to express my gratitude to the club, but I would like to specially thank Peter Moores, Mark Robinson, Chris Adams, all my team-mates, all the fans and everyone who is part of this magnificent family for all the opportunities and memories that they have provided me with.

"My love, my feelings and my heart will always be with Sussex and I will always pray to Allah for continued success at Sussex."

Club captain Adams gave the spinner a glowing testimony.

"Mushtaq's legacy at the club is that he leaves us statistically, romantically and emotionally the best player to ever pull on a Sussex shirt," he said.

"In view of the impact he's made, it's difficult to think of another cricketer who has achieved or done more for one county. His legacy extends beyond the playing arena, as I'm sure all that have been graced by his presence will agree. He is simply a great man."

Mark Robinson, the county's cricket manager, added: "I don't think that it will ever be possible to overplay the enormous influence Mushtaq has had on Sussex in recent years.

"His record as a player and the trophies that he has helped us win will speak for itself, but I would like to pay tribute to him as a person from myself and all the people whose lives he has touched for the enormous influence he has had on us."