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Rikki Clarke, a stalwart of the county game for the last two decades, will retire at the end of the season.
September is a milestone month for Clarke, for two reasons. It marks 20 years since his debut for Surrey, where he began and ends a career that also took in stints at Derbyshire and Warwickshire, and he turns 40. He has decided it is time to hang up the boots.
Clarke’s has had an outstanding career. He played two Tests and 20 ODIs for England between 2003 and 2006, but it was in the county game that he really made his mark.
He won the Championship with Surrey in 2002, Warwickshire in 2012, and again with Surrey in 2018. He also won the English titles in both List A and T20 cricket.
Clarke has more than 11,000 first-class runs, including 17 centuries, and 528 wickets. In the white-ball formats, he has almost 6,500 runs and 267 wickets. With some of the safest hands in the game, he has also snaffled 587 catches across his career.
Clarke came through the ranks at Surrey, settling into the first team. In 2007 he left for an ill-fated spell as Derbyshire’s captain, before moving to Warwickshire, where he enjoyed his prime years. Towards the end of 2017, he returned to Surrey, and played a major role in the title win the following year.
“When I started as a professional back in 2000 I could have only dreamt of the career that was to follow,” said Clarke.
“I have played with and against some amazing cricketers throughout my 22 seasons and amongst them made some friends for life. To Surrey and Warwickshire I thank you for the amazing times and the success that I was able to experience while wearing your badges.
“I feel very fortunate to have been a part of successful teams and to win all domestic trophies two/three times over. To Derbyshire I thank for the opportunity to captain an amazing county and I only wish things could have turned out differently.”
Clarke, who is having a Testimonial Year this summer, has taken up the position of Head of Cricket at King Edward’s School in Witley, and runs the Rikki Clarke Academy.