English cricketer Zafar Ansari retires at the age of 25 to pursue law

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English cricketer Zafar Ansari retires at the age of 25 to pursue law

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SportsCafe Desk

04/26/2017

English spinner Zafar Ansari has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket to pursue a new challenge - a law degree. The 25-year-old made his Test debut for England against Bangladesh last year before playing in the Rajkot and Visakhapatnam Tests against India as well.

Ansari had been a regular in the Surrey team since joining them at the age of eight, from 2010 to the current season. The Englishman played 71 matches for the County team claiming 128 wickets at an average of 35.87. His performances soon garnered attention from the national selectors as he was given a call up for the National team.

“After seven years as a professional cricketer and almost two decades in total playing the game, I have decided to bring my cricket career to an end. This has been a very difficult decision to make and I have not made it lightly. I started playing for Surrey at the age of eight and the club has been a hugely important part of my life since then. Surrey have always completely supported me and I am extremely grateful to the club for their backing over the years. It is, therefore, with great sadness that I say goodbye," Ansari said in a statement released by Surrey.

“Nevertheless, I have always been clear that when the time was right for me to move on I would, and that time has now come. 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 was given his first cap against Ireland in an ODI game in Dublin but he was unable to make a contribution after the game was washed out. In October last year, with Bangladesh troubling the English with spin in the sub-continent, Ansari was called up to the Test team becoming the 673rd player to be given a Test cap by England.

After picking up two wickets against Bangladesh, the 25-year-old was named in the playing XI against India in Rajkot. He picked up another 3 wickets against the Indians, but a back injury after the second Test ruled him out for the remainder of the tour.

“I will look back extremely fondly on playing with some wonderful teams and having the opportunity to perform in front of the best crowds in county cricket at the Kia Oval. Equally, to have played three Test matches for England was a huge honour and it is something I will undoubtedly savour for the rest of my life. Most of all, I will miss the people with whom I have shared my career and I cherish the relationships that I’ve formed along the way," Ansari said.

“I would like to thank Surrey and its fans for the way they have supported and encouraged me over the last 17 years. I am now looking forward to starting a new chapter in my life, but I know that Surrey will always feel like a home to me.”

Ansari already has degrees in Politics, Philosophy and Sociology from Cambridge University.

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