It’s time for the younger generation, says Sidebottom

RYAN SIDEBOTTOM delivered a blow to England selectors yesterday by announcing his international retirement.

The 32-year-old seam bowler was England’s most productive bowler in their World Twenty20 triumph back in May.

But after losing his place in the 50-over set-up, the Nottinghamshire player has decided to
call time on his international career – and hand over to the next generation.

Yorkshire-born Sidebottom made his Test debut against Pakistan at Lord’s in 2001 but had to wait another six years to earn a recall.

Since then, however, he has established himself as a regular in all forms of the game with his highlight coming in 2008 when he took a hat-trick on his way to Test best figures of 7-47 against New Zealand in Hamilton.

“I have had a truly fantastic period of my life with England but now it is time to hand
over the ball to those a little younger,” Sidebottom said.

“If I look back on my international career I have achieved more than I could ever have dreamed. Winning the Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies, my Test debut at Lord’s, a Test hat-trick against New Zealand, plus a man of the series award, are just a few of the highlights.

“I have been fortunate enough to live the dream with England.

“It has been a fantastic time but I have no doubts that now is the right time to announce my retirement.”

Sidebottom made his decision after helping to guide Nottinghamshire to their second County Championship title in six years last week.

He is, however, looking for a new county for 2011 after announcing he is to leave Notts
after seven seasons.