Sean Ervine, the former Zimbabwe allrounder, has announced his retirement from professional cricket with immediate effect.

His decision came two matches into a loan deal with Derbyshire after his opportunities at Hampshire dried up and he led the team off at the end of their game with Kent.

“Yesterday I made the biggest decision of my life,” he posted on Twitter. “After 14 years playing county cricket I have decided to hang up my number 7 shirt.”

Ervine, 35, finished his international career in 2004 after five Tests and 42 ODIs amid the mass of players leaving Zimbabwe cricket and forged a highly successful career with Hampshire. He finishes with 11,390 first-class runs alongside 280 wickets, 5716 runs and 206 List A wickets and over 3000 T20 runs alongside 68 wickets.

Billy Godleman, the Derbyshire captain, said: “Sean shared with the group today that he’s had a long hard think about his career and he’s decided to retire as of today from the game.

“Although he’s only been with us for a couple of games, we’ve all played against him for many years and he’s been a fantastic performer and most importantly a really good solid cricket man and he’s one of the good guys in professional cricket.”

When Ervine joined Derbyshire he said he was looking for an opportunity having not played in the Hampshire first team since June. “The aim now is to be as competitive as possible in the final run of games and see where that can take us.”

However, in two Championship matches he made 2, 1, 26 and 22

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