London: Former England wicketkeeper Paul Nixon will end a 24-year professional career on Saturday when he retires from county cricket.
Frustrated at being unable to maintain the level of performance he expects of himself, the 40-year-old Nixon will quit after Leicestershire`s Twenty20 quarterfinal against Kent irrespective of the result.
"My body knows now. I can`t do it the way I want to do it anymore," Nixon said. "I can`t keep to those high standards anymore. All of my mentors said to me that you`ll know when the time is right and the time has come.”
"I`ve thought about it for a few months now and am at ease with it. It`s time for the youngsters to have their journeys now."
A vocal keeper and capable batsman noted for his reverse sweep, Nixon did not make his international debut until 2007 at age 37.
He played a Twenty20 against Australia and 19 one-day internationals. He was England wicketkeeper for the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean and hoped his performances would lead to a test appearance.
But the call to the test side never came.
Nixon was backup to Stewart on a 2000-01 tour to Pakistan and Sri Lanka but never played. He had to wait until the start of 2007 in Australia after England had lost the Ashes series 5-0 to make his international debut in limited-overs cricket.
By the time stalwarts Jack Russell and Alec Stewart were no longer in contention for the five-day game, Nixon was overlooked in favor of younger players including Chris Read, James Foster, Geraint Jones and present incumbent Matthew Prior.
"I`ve met some amazing people along the way and have some special memories," Nixon said. "I`ve loved every ball on the pitch and every moment I`ve been involved in off the pitch too. It`s a very special life and I`ve made sure that I`ve never taken it for granted."
Aside from two years with Kent, Nixon was a Leicestershire player all his career.
"The Leicester public has been absolutely phenomenal towards me and I want to thank them for all of their support," Nixon said.