London: England captain Andrew Strauss heaped praise on Michael Vaughan, who announced his retirement on Tuesday, saying his predecessor's ability to outwit opponents set him apart from the crowd.
"I count Michael as a good friend as well as a teammate and I know what a tough decision this will have been for him as he took so much pleasure and pride in representing his country," said Strauss.
The 34-year-old Vaughan decided to cut short his career after failing to make the cut for the Ashes series against Australia.
It was under Vaughan's leadership that England had won the Ashes in 2005 after 18 years and Strauss said he learned a lot watching him at close quarters.
"I learned a great deal from watching him captain the side for five years at close hand and his ability to identify a new strategy for outwitting the opposition or bring the best out of his own players was a priceless asset," said the 32-year-old about England's most successful captain.
The England captain admitted that Vaughan's presence would be missed in the dressing room.
"But more than anything we as players will miss the enormous sense of fun and enjoyment that Michael brought to the dressing room. He will be missed by everyone connected with the team and we wish him every success in his future career."
Tributes poured in from various quarters following Vaughan's decision to quit all forms of the game.
"Everyone associated with cricket in England and Wales will be forever grateful to Michael Vaughan for his immense contribution to the England team's success," said England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Giles Clarke in a statement.
"His achievement in leading England to victory against the number one ranked team in the world, Australia in 2005, was arguably the finest by any England captain in the modern
era," he added.
ECB managing director Hugh Morris ranked Vaughan among the best captains in the world.
"As an international captain Michael ranks among the very best and the way in which he and Duncan Fletcher forged a team capable of winning six consecutive Test series stands as testament to his ability to inspire and motivate those around him.
"He was also a marvellous ambassador for England cricket off the field as well as on it, and someone who genuinely appreciated the generous support he received from the thousands of England supporters who follow the team at home and abroad," said Morris.
"No-one who saw his magnificent hundreds in Australia in 2002-03 will forget the contribution he made to the team as a batsman either, he will be rightly remembered as a player of the highest class," he added.
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