Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England and Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman Craig Kieswetter has been forced to retire with immediate effect due to a devastating eye injury he suffered last year.
Kieswetter sustained a broken nose and a fractured orbital socket and cheekbone after he was hit by a bouncer while playing for Somerset in a County Championship match against Northamptonshire last July.
Since suffering the injury, Kieswetter admitted that he has struggled to regain perfect vision and has had trouble seeing the cricket ball as of late.
“I feel mentally I will never again be the player that I was,” Kieswetter said via a statement. “I have had a terrific career, with plenty of ups and occasional downs, and I am calling time on my career and walking away with no regrets.
“I’ll have so many memories of a career that spanned nine years of my life during which I have made so many friends. See you all on the sidelines.
“There are so many people that I am grateful to yet most importantly I need to thank my family, without whom nothing I have achieved would have been possible. Their sacrifices to help me to be able to achieve some fantastic success defines the importance of family.
“I’d also like to thank Somerset County Cricket Club for giving me the opportunity to play as a professional, to help mould me and for their loyalty. It is a Club full of so many incredible people and with a great bunch of supporters.
“I would especially like to thank Brian Rose, the former Director of Cricket who gave me my first contract at Somerset, Andy Hurry who was my first team coach and Darren Veness who helped to make me into what I am today. These three guys have been huge influences to me in my career.”
Kieswetter represented England in 46 ODIs and scored 1,054 runs, which included one century and five half-centuries, at an average of 30.11. He also took 53 catches and stumped 12 batsmen.
The 27-year-old has also played 25 Twenty20 Internationals, amassing 526 runs, which included three half-centuries, at an average of 21.91. He also claimed 17 catches and was involved in three stumpings.
“This is sad news for all concerned,” Somerset’s director of cricket Matt Maynard said. “Craig is a very popular member of the squad and has made a real impression on the club during his years here. He has been a major influence both on and off the field and will be missed by players, coaches, staff and fans alike.
“At his best Craig was one of, if not the most, explosive keeper-batsman in the game. He is an extremely gifted cricketer who could win a game on his own.
“His record speaks for itself and the game will miss him. I would have loved to have worked with him this year but it just wasn’t to be.”