Stuart Meaker to retire at end of season at age of 32

Stuart Meaker to retire at end of season at age of 32

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Sussex seamer played four times for England during lengthy career with Surrey

Stuart Meaker, the Sussex and former Surrey fast bowler, has announced that he will retire at the end of the season.

Meaker, who has claimed 396 wickets in 203 matches across the three main formats in a 14-year career, was once considered one of the most promising young fast bowlers in the country.

He played four times for England – in two ODIs in 2011 and two T20Is in 2012, all against India – claiming four wickets in total, but proved unable to press for further honours.

Domestically, however, he was in his pomp in those two seasons, claiming 98 first-class wickets in 2011 and 2012, including career-best figures of 8 for 52 against Somerset at The Kia Oval in May 2012.

He remained a frequent candidate for England Lions selection, playing 18 fixtures across formats including tours of Bangladesh, Australia and the UAE between 2011 and 2016.

However, injuries took their toll on Meaker’s naturally quick, skiddy action, to the extent that he played a solitary Championship game for Surrey across two seasons in 2018 and 2019.

But, after acknowledging the impact this had had on his mental health, including in a painfully honest interview with ESPNcricinfo in May 2021, Meaker ended his long association with Surrey by moving to Hove for a new beginning.

Now, however, after a haul of nine wickets at 58.33 in six matches, Meaker has he has recognised that, at the age of 32, his playing days are nearly behind him. A career in the media could follow – he has been part of the SENZ radio commentary team during the ongoing Test series against India.

“I’m sorry to say goodbye to Sussex and all the club’s fans,” Meaker said. “Thank you for the opportunity to get back out on to the field and get back to taking wickets again.

“Sadly, despite working harder than I have ever done this winter to win games for the club, the performances have not matched the efforts and it’s time for me to hang up the boots and pass the baton to the exciting young talents of the future.”

Sussex’s performance director Keith Greenfield added: “As Stuart has been the first to admit, he hasn’t had the results he would have liked during his time with us, but there can be no questioning his efforts.

“He can be very proud of his overall career and being part of an exclusive group of cricketers to have had the honour of representing their country.

“We would like to thank Stuart for his efforts while at Sussex and the time he has spent sharing his experience with our emerging crop of fast bowlers and wish him all the best for whatever he decides to do next.”