Tim Bresnan's message to Warwickshire and the Club's supporters after announcing his retirement from playing cricket is simple and heartfelt: "Thank you."
Bresnan has brought down the curtain on a career which delivered immense success with Yorkshire and England before concluding in glorious style with the Bears.
The all-rounder, who will turn 37 this month, was an integral part of the Bears team which won the County Championship and Bob Willis Trophy double in 2021.
His mighty career – 142 games in all formats for England, 575 first class wickets, 7,128 runs – culminated in glory as his last two matches were the stunning championship title-clincher against Somerset at Edgbaston and the 199-run thumping of Lancashire to lift the Bob Willis Trophy at Lord’s.
Bresnan’s Bears career was quite brief but very fruitful. His move to Birmingham proved a perfect fit for both club and player and the decision to retire a season earlier than planned was tough. However, he is very comfortable with that decision, driven as it is by the relentless pressures and strains on a body which has bowled 50,656 balls in professional cricket.
“Until about the third week of pre-season I really wanted to play another year,” he said. “But then as the training got tougher my body was just screaming out to me to stop. It was clear that it would be a real struggle for me this year and I hadn’t even started bowling yet. That was the main issue with the elbow injury that has needed constant treatment for years. The amount of pain gets to you in the end and I know that this is the right time. The boys are in good shape and if I’m not 100 per cent fit to contribute it’s not fair on them, me or the Club.
“It is an emotional time, but also very exciting with the excitement that comes with a big life decision. I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone at Warwickshire for being so welcoming and for allowing me to finish my career on a high. Because of Covid, I didn’t get to meet any supporters during my first year, which was really strange, but when I did start to meet them they were very supportive which was great. I felt at home immediately and I’d just like to say to the supporters, ‘keep believing and pushing the boys on’ because they are a great bunch of lads and last year’s success could be just the start.
“We really bonded as a team and I’ve got some mates for life in the Bears dressing room. From one to 11 down the team sheet and across the back-room staff I have got a huge amount of respect for everyone there. I hope they keep improving and building the team spirit and hunger and desire to win which they showed last year.”
While the Bears now crack on with their preparations to defend their championship title, Bresnan faces a new challenge. For the first time in his adult life, he will enter spring without cricket matches dominating his diary. So what’s next?
“Who knows?” he said. “First up, I think I’ll just have a nice holiday, relax with the family and reset and then take it from there. Whatever happens, I’m pretty sure it won’t involve playing cricket, certainly for a while. I’ve had a great career and am very grateful for it but 23 years wear and tear has taken its toll on the body, so it’s certainly not high on my list of priorities now to go and sort out a league club.
“It was great to finish on a high and it is nice to have those two games as my last two in county cricket. If you could predict a dream scenario to end a career if would be something like that or an Ashes win. I am proud of the team’s achievement and, on a personal level, proud to have been part of a few pivotal moments along the way like the run-chase at Nottingham which probably gave us the belief that we could really do something.
“We went from strength to strength from there and hopefully the lads will continue to go from strength to strength.”
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