Nel quits international game
Paceman finishes with 123 Test wickets
Last Updated: 25/03/09 3:07pm
Nel: calling it a day
South African fast bowler Andre Nel has announced his decision to retire from international cricket with immediate effect.
"Playing for my country for the last eight years was a dream come true for me... I have many happy memories and wish the Proteas the best for the future."
Andre Nel Quotes of the week
Nel last played for his country during the tour of England in 2008. He made his debut against Zimbabwe in 2001.
"It is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement from international cricket," said Nel, who will continue playing first class cricket with the Lions in South Africa.
"Playing for my country for the last eight years was a dream come true for me.
"I would like to thank my captain, Graeme Smith, and my coaches, Mickey Arthur and Vinnie Barnes, and all my Proteas' team-mates for their support and guidance.
"I have many happy memories and wish the Proteas the best for the future. I would also like to thank Cricket South Africa and Gerald Majola for the support I have been given.
"To the fans who have supported me, you have made playing at the highest level something very special for me. I am sorry I did not have the chance to say farewell from the field.
"Last, but not least, a special thanks to my two biggest mentors, Ray Jennings and Shaun Pollock. Without your advice and influence I would not have made it as far as I did."
The 31-year-old, who was renowned for his aggressive style, played 36 Test matches for the Proteas taking 123 wickets.
His one-day record saw him claim 106 wickets in 79 games.
Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola and national coach Mickey Arthur both paid tribute to the paceman.
The CSA boss said: "He has been a good servant to South African cricket and I wish him all the best."
Arthur added: "He is a very passionate player who always gave 110 percent for his country. I wish him all the best for the future."