LONDON: Surrey and England all-rounder Zafar Ansari has retired from cricket at the age of 25, saying he has “other ambitions that I want to fulfil”. Ansari made his Test debut for England in October, against Bangladesh, before playing two Tests against India. The left-arm spinner played 71 first-class games, taking 128 wickets. “After seven years as a professional cricketer and almost two decades in total playing, I have decided to bring my cricket career to an end,” he said. He added: “While the timing may come as a surprise, I have always maintained that cricket was just one part of my life and that I have other ambitions that I want to fulfil. “With that in mind, I am now exploring another career, potentially in law, and to achieve this I have to begin the process now.” Ansari, who has a double first in politics, philosophy and sociology from Cambridge University and a Master’s degree in history from Royal Holloway, has been at Surrey since the age of eight. He made his England debut in a one-day international against Ireland in 2015 before being called up to England’s Test squad to tour Bangladesh and India in 2016. The all-rounder played just one of Surrey’s three County Championship matches this season following injury, scoring three runs and failing to take a wicket in a draw with Lancashire. Surrey’s director of cricket, Alec Stewart said: “Zafar’s exceptionally tough but considered decision is one that we should all respect and understand. “To retire at such a young age when his cricket career was progressing very nicely, earning a Test debut against Bangladesh last winter, proves that he has given great thought in deciding to walk away from the professional game.”
@surreycricket What a great guy and a pleasure to have toured with him. Wish him the best.
— Moeen Ali (@MoeenAli) April 26, 2017