Sussex left-arm pacer Lewis Hatchett, who defeated a rare medical condition to play 26 first-class matches, has declared his retirement from professional cricket. The 26-year-old, conceived with Poland Syndrome – a birth deformity p absence or underdevelopment of muscles on one side of the body – chose to pull down the curtains on a spirited career following the medical advice.
“It is with great sadness that I have to announce my retirement from professional cricket due to injury. Following medical advice, my long-term health is most important to me and I have to listen to my body. To have to end my career in this way has been devastating, but to play six years at my home county has been a dream come true. I will forever be proud that I managed to realise my dream of playing for Sussex and considering the journey I have had, fills me with further pride,” Hatchett said.
“I’ve met some incredible people throughout my career, especially at Sussex CCC. I’ve made friends for life through this sport and it was a huge honour to wear the Martlets on my chest every time I played. I wish the team all the success in the future and will watch fondly.
“Thank you to all the coaches and physios, who put in countless hours to help get me on the field throughout my career. A thank you to all the staff at Sussex, from Sam and Gunny on the front gate, to Chief Executive, Zac Toumazi, this club is full of amazing people. Thank you to my two clubs, St James’s Montefiore CC and East Grinstead CC for your support to help get me to where I am today.
“Finally, I will forever be grateful to my parents for their support all throughout my career, from a young age even to this day. I could not have done it without them. And to my brother, Bradley, for not only his support but for all the fond memories from playing cricket in the garden as kids to playing together at club level,” Hatchett said.
Hatchett, who grabbed 72 wickets in 27 first-class matches, including three five-wicket pulls, played his last game against Worcestershire in May this year. He likewise highlighted in 16 List-A games in which he grabbed 19 wickets while overseeing 11 scalps in 10 Twenty20 matches.
Mark Davis, head coach of the Sussex team, applauded the youngster for his achievements while wishing him luck.
“I would like to congratulate Hatch on everything he has achieved at Sussex. He is somebody that despite real challenges has made the most of himself as a county cricketer. Lewis will be successful at whatever he chooses to do post-cricket, due to his extraordinary work ethic and drive. I wish him all the best for the future,” Davis said.