It all has to end sometime

and a lot of the time it ends in a whimper.

so it is with Michael Vaughan announcing his, widely expected, immediate retirement from all cricket this morning, aged 34.

Not being able to rack up runs for Yorkshire, his inability to see out a day in the field – even a trip to Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail didn’t completely clear up that knackered knee – resulting in his absence from the Ashes squads announced earlier in the month pointed to this day coming sooner than he and many others would have wished.

Greatest England captain we’ve had? Well statistically yes with a record 26 wins (from 51 Tests with 11 losses), I’d say it was a joint position with Mike Brearley. Certainly one thing Vaughan had over Brearley was his ability with bat in hand, the formers test average being almost double that of the latter.

As elegant a batsmen as many have seen Vaughan touched genius during that Ashes tour down under in 2002/3, while scoring 3 centuries and amassing 633 runs, against the likes of McGrath and Warne. I’ve heard some say he wasn’t a great because his average is just above 40, which now in this day and age is the mark for a good player not a great one. But when Vaughan took over the captaincy from Nasser Hussain his average was 50.98, which is pretty damn great in a team that had just got back to winning ways.

But he took the captaincy, it took it’s toll as he moved down the order to third, when opening was his best position really, as his average in charge was just 36.02, reducing his overall Test avg. to 41.44. But it gave him the moment he will be remembered for more than the runs or the cover drive, swivel pull signature shots.

As captaincy career highlights go it’s a bloody good one. Though with Vaughan injuring his knee again out in Pakistan it was the end of a great period for English cricket.

All that and in 2001 he played a big part in Yorkshire’s first County Championship since 1968.

The only real blot on the CV is one of the first lines – Born: Eccles, City of Salford, Greater Manchester.

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