Southampton: Dimitri Mascarenhas, the Hampshire and former England allrounder, has announced that he will retire from professional cricket for his county at the end of the 2013 season. Mascarenhas, 35, played all 18 of his county seasons with Hampshire after making his first-class debut in 1996. He was selected to play for England in 2007 and featured in 20 ODIs and 14 Twenty20 internationals.
Mascarenhas made his first-class debut against Glamorgan in 1996 and took 6 for 88. He currently has 6495 first-class runs at 25.07 with eight centuries to go with 450 wickets at 28.22. In limited-overs cricket, Mascarenhas has so far taken 300 List A wickets and 142 T20 wickets. Among his career highlights are taking the first hat-trick in Twenty20 cricket, a career-best 5 for 14 against Sussex at Hove in 2004. At the ODI level for England, Mascarenhas holds the England record of hitting five sixes in an over - off India's Yuvraj Singh at The Oval in 2007.
"It's been the toughest decision of my life to call time on my career at Hampshire. I feel I have so much left, but my Achilles just isn't up to it and, as a result, I have to retire," said Mascarenhas. "I have had an amazing time here for 18 seasons; there have been many highs and lows, but one thing that has stayed constant is the guys I have played with. All have been tremendous talents and, more importantly, top blokes.
"I would like to thank Rod, Giles and pretty much all the staff for making my journey with Hampshire such an enjoyable one. I wish the Club the best of luck in the future; I'm sure we have many more trophies on the way!"
During his long career with Hampshire, Mascarenhas - who was born in London but raised in Australia - won six domestic trophies. He played a big part in his team's victorious 2005 Cheltenham and Gloucester Trophy campaign and also helped Hampshire win the 2009 Friends Provident Trophy. As Twenty20 captain, he leading the side to short-form titles in 2010 and 2012 as well as playing an integral part in a victorious Clydesdale Bank 40 campaign in 2012.
Mascarenhas was also the first English player to feature in the IPL, representing Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. So far, his tally sits at over 12,000 runs in all formats to go with 900 wickets.
Hampshire chairman Rod Bransgrove said: "Dimi has established himself as a true Hampshire icon and will be impossible to replace. His uncomplicated style and positive manner have made him a huge influence in and around the dressing room and his passion and commitment to the cause ensured that he would always be a crowd favourite. Whilst we will all miss him, on both a personal and professional level, we must thank him for his amazing contribution to this club and wish him, his wife, Nadine and son Lenny every success and happiness in the future."