Martyn surprises Australia with decision to retire

Damien Martyn shocked Australian sport yesterday when he announced his retirement from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.

Martyn's place in the Australia side has been under constant review since his disappointing tour of England in 2005 and he had scored only 45 runs in the opening two Tests of this Ashes series. The 35-year-old was one of the most elegant batsmen in the world, showing exquisite timing on both sides of the wicket. His square drive was as good as any who have played the game. He played 67 Tests and 208 one-day matches for Australia, averaging more than 40 in both forms of the game.

Martyn cited a lack of motivation as the reason for his decision. He said: "I may lose friends for doing what I am doing, but if stayed doing what I am doing I may lose respect for myself and the friendship of those around me. The tremendous challenges that face Australian cricket require people who are 100 per cent committed, disciplined, dedicated and passionate about the game."

The Australia captain, Ricky Ponting, said: "This decision is obviously something Damien has thought long and hard about and I know that I and all of the other members of the team will miss him greatly. Damien is one of the world's most unsung players in both forms of the game and I don't think it is really understood how good a player he actually is.

"He is one of those players who, as the conditions and situations got harder and more difficult, the better he became. I know I will miss his influence on the Australian team."

The uncapped Adam Voges has replaced him in the Australian squad for the third Test. Andrew Symonds has been recalled, replacing the fast bowler Shaun Tait.