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Paul Nixon announces his retirement

ESPNcricinfo staff
August 1, 2011
Paul Nixon played 19 one-day internationals for England © Getty Images

Paul Nixon, the Leicestershire and former England wicketkeeper, will quit all professional cricket this weekend. Nixon, 40, has announced he will retire after Saturday's Friends Life t20 quarter-final against Kent, ending a 22-year long first-class career. It will be a fitting match to end his career with, as Nixon also played for Kent, between 2000 and 2002.

Nixon said he had taken the decision because he realised he could not maintain the high level of fitness he expected from himself. "My body knows now I can't do it the way I want to do it anymore," he said. "I can't keep to those high standards anymore. All of my mentors said to me that you'll know when the time is right and the time has come."

Nixon played 19 one-day internationals for England, but that figure could have been higher had he not had Jack Russell and Alec Stewart as contemporaries during a period when England were looking for a keeper who could contribute significantly with the bat. His ODIs all came during the Commonwealth Bank Series and the World Cup in the first four months of 2007, by which time he was 36. Nixon seemed to be in line for a Test debut when he was named in England's 25-man development squad in 2007, but Matt Prior was favoured over him.

Despite not getting many opportunities with England, Nixon built a strong reputation in county cricket. He helped Leicestershire win the Championship in 1996 and 1998, and after returning to the county in 2003, became an important player in the Twenty20 format, with the reverse-sweep being one of his signature strokes. He was also part of the now-defunct Indian Cricket League.

He scored 14,498 runs in his first-class career at an average of 34.35 with 21 centuries and 72 half-centuries. In addition, he scored 7418 runs in List A cricket. A supremely fit wicketkeeper, Nixon held 889 catches in first-class catches and had 67 stumpings.

Nixon made special mention of the Leicester fans, in front of whom he will take his final bow. "I've loved every ball on the pitch and every moment I've been involved in off the pitch too," he said. "The Leicester public has been absolutely phenomenal towards me and I want to thank them for all of their support."

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