Craig Kieswetter, England’s Twenty20 World Cup winning wicketkeeper, has been forced to retire from all forms of cricket due to the eye injury he suffered against Northamptonshire last July.
The injury occurred when newly capped England all-rounder David Willey bowled him a bouncer which went through the grille of his helmet, breaking his nose and damaging his cheekbone and eye socket.
Kieswetter said: “Having gone through that experience of my eye injury and everything it entailed, I feel mentally I will never again be the player that I was. I have had a terrific career, with plenty of ups and occasional downs, and I am calling time on my career and walking away with no regrets.”
Kieswetter made a brief return, playing the last two games of the 2014 County Championship season following surgery but after playing Twenty20’s for South African side Warriors, scoring 199 in 10 innings, he felt as though he would not be able to regain the form that led to him playing 46 ODI’s and 25 T20 games for England.
Kieswetter rose to prominence in 2009, scoring 248 runs in the T20 Cup, averaging 65.83 in the Friends Provident Trophy and scoring 1,242 runs in the County Championship, averaging just under 60. This form led to him making his One Day debut for England in 2010 versus Bangladesh and being named a part of England’s T20 World Cup squad the same year, being named man of the match in the final after scoring 63 against Australia as England won their first ever World Cup in any form of cricket.
Kieswetter ends his career with averages of 30.11 in One Day Internationals, 21.91 in T20 Internationals and 39.23 in First Class Cricket with his sole England century, 107, coming against Bangladesh in his third game.
Kieswetter was a hard-hitting powerful batsman but had been out of England contention since 2012 with the selectors preferring former Somerset team mate Jos Buttler and Yorkshire’s Jonny Bairstow.
“This is sad news for all concerned” said Somerset’s director of cricket Matthew Maynard who gave his reaction to the news, going on to say: “At his best Craig was one of, if not the most explosive ‘keeper-batsman’ in the game. He is an extremely gifted cricketer who could win a game on his own. His record speaks for itself and the game will miss him.”