‘Hugely proud’ Luke Wright retires from first-class cricket
Luke Wright played 144 games in a 15-year first-class career. (Image: @SussexCCC)

The one-time England allrounder Luke Wright, who was a member of the team that lifted the 2010 ICC World Twenty20, on Tuesday announced his decision to quit red-ball cricket and focus on extending his limited-overs credentials with Sussex.

Wright, 34, made his first-class debut for Leicestershire 2003 against Sussex and in 2004 switched to Sussex. He played his last first-class match in 2018 and will continue to lead Sussex Sharks in T20 cricket.

In a statement Tuesday, Wright said he hoped to play white-ball cricket for five years at least with his home county and urged youngsters to value first-class cricket.

“I worked hard on my red-ball cricket over the winter, but once it became clear that I was going to have a lesser role in the four-day team, it made sense for me to commit my long-term future to the white-ball game only,” he said. “I’m hoping to carry on playing for the next five to six years and therefore I’m delighted to be committing my future to Sussex with this contract.

“I’m hugely proud of my first-class record it’s something that has often surprised people who think of me as having been a white-ball specialist. I’ll miss first-class cricket greatly and would always advise any youngsters making their way in the game that four-day runs are always the most rewarding.”

In a first-class career that spanned 15 years, Wright played 144 matches from which he scored 7622 runs at an average of 38.11 with 17 hundreds and 38 fifties, with a highest score of 226 not out. Of his total runs, 7243 came for Sussex at 37.52 with 15 hundreds and 36 half-centuries.

As a bowler, Wright claimed 118 wickets in first-class cricket for Sussex at 38.81 apiece with a best haul of 5/65.

He never played Test cricket for England, but did play 50 ODIs and 51 T20Is for his country. Wright averaged 20.20 from 39 ODI innings with a best of 52 and 18.97 from 45 T20I innings with a highest of 99 not out. In addition, his medium pace fetched him 15 wickets in ODIs and 18 in T20Is.

With Sussex, Wright won two County Championship titles.