Former England opener Nick Compton has announced his retirement from the game. Compton, 35, did not feature for Middlesex during the 2018 season – which was also his benefit year – but will remain working for the club in an ambassadorial role.
Compton played 16 Tests for England, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Denis. He was Alastair Cook’s first opening partner after the retirement of Andrew Strauss in 2012, and played his part in memorable series wins in India and South Africa.
His last cap came during the summer of 2016, a season which ended with Middlesex lifting the County Championship for the first time since 1993.
“After almost two decades of professional cricket, I am announcing my retirement from the game I love so much,” Compton said. “It has been a privilege to play first-class cricket for Middlesex, Somerset, and the MCC.
“Of course, the pinnacle of my career was following in my grandfather Denis Compton’s footsteps, having achieved my dream of playing and winning Test series for England. I am particularly proud of my successful opening partnership with Alastair Cook and our series victory in India, the first time in 28 years an England team had won in India.”
Having started out at Middlesex, the club closely associated with his family, Compton moved to Somerset in 2010. It was there he found the form that would win him England recognition; in 2012, he scored 1494 runs at 99.60, narrowly failing to become the ninth man in history to score 1000 first-class runs before the end of May.
He made his international debut in Ahmedabad that winter and was part of the England side that came from behind to win 2-1 in India. Compton scored hundreds in Dunedin and Wellington on England’s next tour, a 0-0 draw with New Zealand, but lost his place ahead of the 2013 Ashes despite an opening partnership with Cook that averaged 57.93.
A second coming in 2015 saw him score 85 and 49 at No. 3 as England won in Durban on the way to a 2-1 series victory, but Compton only played three more Tests, making his final outing against Sri Lanka at Lord’s.
“There have been some challenges that I have had to confront, but in spite of these I feel incredibly fortunate to have had this career of mine,” he said. “For one, being named one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year in the 150th Anniversary Edition [in 2013] alongside both my cricketing hero Jacques Kallis, and my school friend Hashim Amla.
“Other highlights include being chosen as PCA Player of the Year by my peers after coming so close to being the first cricketer for 25 years to score 1000 runs before the end of May is another, up there with making my Test debut in India and receiving my cap from England legend Graham Gooch.
“I treasure the 16 Test matches I played for England, especially my back-to-back Test hundreds which I scored in New Zealand. On the domestic front, what a team I played in at Somerset. And winning the County Championship at Lord’s on the final day of the 2016 season for Middlesex provided all involved with an experience that we will savour for the rest of our lives.”
In all, Compton scored more than 12,000 first-class runs at an average of 40.42, the last of his 27 hundreds coming for Sri Lanka Ports Authority during a spell playing Sri Lankan domestic cricket in February.
He had already begun to explore options for his post-playing career, working as an analyst during the summer for Sky and ESPNcricinfo. “I look forward to pursuing my other interests, particularly in the media and photography as well as working on a few business ventures,” he said.
Middlesex’s chief executive, Richard Goatley, added: “It is a sad day for us that Nick Compton has retired from professional cricket. Nick has been a very special servant to the club, culminating in his key role in the Championship winning success of 2016.
“Nick is highly valued by Middlesex Cricket and we are delighted that he will remain with the club in an ambassadorial role. We welcome his all-round ability, and want him to add further value by helping to inspire our future success in an off the field capacity.
“He has contributed effectively towards the club’s off-field work in the past, both with our senior leadership team and the commercial team at Lord’s, and we look forward to extending that work in the future. Nick Compton will always be welcome at Lord’s.”