Durham County Cricket Club can confirm that all-rounder Ian Blackwell will retire from all forms of cricket with immediate effect.
Following a third operation on his left shoulder over the winter and receiving a worse prognosis than initially anticipated, Ian has seen a number of specialists but has decided to announce his retirement at the age of 34, but aims to stay in the game as a professional umpire.
The Derbyshire born all rounder began his First Class cricket career with his home county in 1997, before moving to Somerset in 1999.
It wasn’t long before England came calling and Ian’s powerful hitting with the bat, and accurate slow left arm bowling allowed him to cement his place in England’s One Day middle order.
Ian played in 34 One Day Internationals for England, making his debut in 2002 against Zimbabwe, ahead of representing his country in the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup in South Africa. Impressive ODI performances saw Ian then called up to the Test team and he played his only Test on a tough England tour of India.
Ian made the decision to move to the North East ahead of the 2009 season to join the then County Champions. He slotted straight into the team and was a key player in the 2009 LV= County Championship winning team scoring 949 runs at an average of 45 and taking 47 wickets at only 22 which saw him earn the accolade of 2009 Durham Player of the Year. Ian remained a key player in the Durham squad for the following three seasons.
Despite moving on loan to Warwickshire for the later part of the 2012 season, success stuck with Ian as the midlands County won the LV= County Championship title and ended runner up in the Clydesdale Bank 40.
Head Coach Geoff Cook: “I would like to say and big thanks to Ian for his contributions to Durham Cricket over the last few seasons. A player with immense talent, who made some outstanding match-winning contributions. It can't be easy for any player to finish his career due to injury and not be able to do so on the pitch and a huge good luck to Blackie as he moves onto his next career hopefully within the game.”
Ian Blackwell had this to say following his retirement: “'It is with sadness that I have had to make the decision to retire from the professional game. I have had 16 incredible years as a professional cricketer and had the great honour of representing my country which is the pinnacle of any sportsman’s career. I was lucky enough to play my cricket with four fantastic counties and I have loved every minute. I look forward to the next stage of my career and hope to forge a path as a professional umpire and give something back to a sport that has given me so much. I would like to thank everyone at Durham, Somerset, Derbyshire and Warwickshire as well as the ECB and PCA and look forward to staying involved in the game in the future.'