London:Former England batsman Mark Butcher retired on Thursday from first class cricket after 17 years due to ongoing knee problems.
The Surrey captain had been struggling with a knee injury throughout the season and had a third operation two weeks ago.
"There was no guarantee it would make all the difference so it seemed the right time to call it a day," the 36-year-old Butcher told Sky Sports. "It's been a long, hard road to try and get back. The team has had to play without its captain for the vast majority of the last 12 months or so.
"It was a pretty obvious decision to make."
Butcher made his first-class debut for Surrey in 1992 and scored 38 centuries, eight of them for England.
He played 71 Tests for England from 1997-2004, including a match-winning 173 not out against Australia at Headingley in 2001.
Butcher captained his country in a Test match once in 1999 due to Nasser Hussain being injured, but he was never selected in a one-day international.
Butcher slipped out of contention for the England Test team after a series of injury problems blighted his 2005 season, during which he was appointed Surrey captain for the first time.
Butcher's time as the southern English county's skipper briefly overlapped with father Alan's stint as coach.
"It was a very tough decision to walk away from the club that I have called home since I was a boy and the game that has given me so many great memories," Butcher said. "But I feel that it is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life."