A Sussex cricket legend has announced his retirement from the professional game today (Tuesday 22 November).
Luke Wright, 37, has been offered a job as a selector for England by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Sussex County Cricket Club said: “Sussex Cricket is sad to announce that club legend and former T20 captain Luke Wright will retire from professional cricket.
“The ECB have also confirmed that he will take up a role as England men’s selector from March 2023.
“In over 400 matches for the club across all formats, Wrighty accumulated over 16,000 runs and 30 centuries.
“To this day, he is the highest scorer in T20 Blast history with 5,026 runs for the Sharks.
“The explosive batsman has spent 18 years at the 1st Central County Ground and was part of the Sussex teams that won the County Championship in 2006 and 2007.
“Ever present at the top of the order, Wrighty also helped to deliver the T20 Cup in 2009, as well as consecutive Pro40 titles in 2008 and 2009.”
Wright said: “A huge thank you to Sussex for the most incredible 19 seasons at the club. I am very proud of what I achieved individually and as a team during my time.
“I would like to thank everyone connected to the club for the support I’ve had ever since moving here. I gave my everything and I hope that showed on the pitch.
“I would also like to thank my friends and family for the love, support and sacrifices they gave to make my career possible.
“And finally, my brother Ashley who has been my batting coach from start to finish. I will always be a Sussex fan.”
Sussex said: “While he became known as one of the best in the game with the bat, Luke was a genuine all-rounder in his earlier years.
“Wrighty took 118 wickets in first-class cricket at an average of 38.81, and with best figures of 5-65.
“As well as delivering domestic trophies and records, Wrighty was a major part of England’s T20 World Cup winning team in 2010.
“And although he was known for his ability to smash boundaries all over the ground, he dismissed the in-form Cameron White in the final against Australia.”
Sussex Coach and former team-mate James Kirtley said: “I was there at the start as a player when he was an exciting young talent and one that you couldn’t help but want to support and nurture.
“Very quickly he found his own feet and made it to international cricket. He took the T20 game by storm and I feel very privileged to have been there at the end as a coach to see him make 5,000 T20 runs.
“The way that he went about his cricket, with the fearlessness, he set a mindset and model on how to play T20 cricket and he deserves all the plaudits for a fantastic career.
“I feel very lucky to have played with and in a coaching capacity worked with but most importantly I can call him a friend and I am sure he will do great things in his new role.”
Sussex performance director Keith Greenfield said: “Luke has clearly been an outstanding player for us over a long period.
“His explosive batting has caused many headaches for opposition bowlers and a joy for our supporters to see and enjoy.
“We wish him all the very best in his new role and thank him for all his efforts for the club.”
The club added: “Wrighty is and will always be synonymous with Sussex – not only for the honours and success he delivered but also his entertaining approach to the game.
“Everyone at the club wishes Wrighty all the best in his new venture.”