London - Surrey all-rounder Zafar Ansari unexpectedly
announced his retirement from cricket at the age of 25 on Wednesday, just six
months after making his England debut.
Ansari, who had been with Surrey since the age of eight,
said he wanted to pursue other opportunities and was contemplating a career in
"After seven years as a professional cricketer and
almost two decades in total playing the game, I have decided to bring my
cricket career to an end," he said in a statement released by Surrey.
"This has been a very difficult decision to make and I
have not made it lightly. It is... with great sadness that I say goodbye.
"Nevertheless, I have always been clear that when the
time was right for me to move on I would, and that time has now come.
"While the timing may come as a surprise, I have always
maintained that cricket was just one part of my life and that I have other
ambitions that I want to fulfil.
"With that in mind, I am now exploring another career,
potentially in law, and to achieve this I have to begin the process now."
Ansari was first capped by Surrey in 2014 and made his
one-day debut for England the following year.
His Test debut was delayed by a freak hand injury sustained
while fielding at Old Trafford in late 2015.
He eventually won his first Test cap against Bangladesh last
Ansari has combined his cricket career with academic
He secured a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Sociology
from Cambridge University in 2013 and was awarded a Master's degree in History
by Royal Holloway, University of London last year.
Alec Stewart, director of cricket at Surrey, said:
"Zafar's exceptionally tough but considered decision is one that we should
all respect and understand.
"We wish Zafar the very best in whatever the future holds for him and he will always be welcomed back to the Kia Oval with open arms."