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Westwood retires with immediate effect

Ian Westwood acknowledges his hundred Getty Images

Ian Westwood, the Warwickshire opening batsman and former captain, has announced his retirement with immediate effect following a 15-year playing career.

Westwood, 34, was born and raised in Birmingham, and progressed through Warwickshire's youth teams, making his first appearance for the club in the Under-11s before coming through their development of excellence programme to make his first-class debut against India A in 2003.

He was part of the team that won the County Championship title in 2004 and was appointed as club captain in 2009. After stepping down the following year, he played a key role in Warwickshire's County Championship triumph in 2012, and retires having played 159 first-class games for the club, scoring 16 centuries.

The most recent of those hundreds came earlier this season, a fighting knock of 153 against Surrey at Warwickshire that helped to set his side up for a hard-earned draw in what has otherwise been a troubling Championship campaign. Four defeats in their first six matches have left them rooted firmly to the bottom of Division One.

"Playing for my home county was all that I ever wanted to do as a junior and I am very proud to have enjoyed a 15-year career where I have been part of teams that have won the County Championship, and also captained the club," said Westwood.

"It has been a very difficult decision to retire, but this is the right time and I would like to thank the many people that have supported me throughout, particularly the players and coaches who I have worked with, club members and of course my family.

"I'm now going to enjoy a period with my family, but certainly intend to remain in cricket and will be a regular visitor to Edgbaston to catch up with the lads and support the Bears."

Jim Troughton, Warwickshire's first-team coach previously played with Westwood for 12 years, said: "Westy typified the character and professionalism needed to be a true Bear.

"Opening the batting in Division One Championship cricket is a real test of skill and temperament and he has exhibited this throughout his career.

"He has captained the club and been an integral part of our success over the last 13 years and he should be very proud of what he has achieved."

Ashley Giles, the club's sport director, added: "Westy has given everything to Warwickshire CCC since he first wore the Bear and Ragged Staff. It has been an absolute pleasure to have worked with him as a player and captain.

"It is a very brave decision to choose to retire at this stage of the season, but it is one that we fully respect and I am very much in favour of players leaving the game on their own terms, when they believe that it is the right time.

"We thank Ian for his immense contribution to Warwickshire CCC and, given his love for the club, we certainly expect to see him at Edgbaston on a regular basis."