England batsman Graham Thorpe could be set to play his last Tests on home soil.
updated: February 25, 2007 10:52 IST
London:England batsman Graham Thorpe could be set to play his last Tests on home soil having announced today he had agreed a contract with Australian state side New South Wales. Left-handed batsman Thorpe, who is set to make his 99th Test appearance against Bangladesh at Lord's, has been widely expected to announce his retirement from international cricket after this season's home Ashes series against Australia. He is not due to arrive in Sydney until January, meaning he would be available for the tour to Pakistan but out of contention for England's post Christmas tour of India. Thorpe, 36 in August, said, "At this stage of my career, it makes sense to start planning for the future and this is an excellent opportunity for me to develop my career in a new environment. "I will be using the time to enhance my coaching qualifications and looking to contribute as much as I can to their cricket on and off the field. "I informed (England coach) Duncan Fletcher and (England chairman of selectors) David Graveney of my plans yesterday and have also assured them that as far as this summer is concerned, I will be giving all my attention to the forthcoming Test series against Bangladesh and Australia." An England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) statement also said Thorpe would play for an unnamed Sydney Grade Club side, assist the New South Wales coaching set-up and be available to play for the reigning Sheffield Shield champions "if required". (AP)