England Test player quits to take up law

Test capped spinner Zafar Ansari quits all cricket aged just 25 to pursue academic career

Surrey allrounder Zafar Ansari unexpectedly announced his retirement from cricket at the age of 25 on Wednesday, just six months after making his England debut.

Ansari, who had been with Surrey since the age of eight, said he wanted to pursue other opportunities and was contemplating a career in law.

"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," he said in a statement released by Surrey.

"This has been a very difficult decision to make and I have not made it lightly. It is... with great sadness that I say goodbye.

"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."

A slow left-arm orthodox bowler and left-hand batter, Ansari played three Tests for England.

He was first capped by Surrey in 2014 and made his one-day international debut the following year.

Quick Single: Dream selection quickly soured for Ansari

His Test debut was delayed by a freak hand injury while fielding at Old Trafford in September 2015. He eventually won his first Test cap against Bangladesh last October.

Ansari after an open dislocation of the thumb in 2015 // Getty

Ansari has combined his cricket career with academic studies.

He secured a degree in politics, philosophy and sociology from Cambridge University in 2013 and was awarded a Master's degree in history last year.

Alec Stewart, director of cricket at Surrey, said: "Zafar's exceptionally tough but considered decision is one that we should all respect and understand.

"We wish Zafar the very best in whatever the future holds for him and he will always be welcomed back to the Kia Oval with open arms."

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