Zafar Ansari announces shock retirement from cricket at age of 25

In a surprising development, 25-year-old Surrey and England all-rounder Zafar Ansari has announced his retirement from cricket with immediate effect. 

The Ascot-born youngster has admitted he has "other ambitions that I want to fulfil" outside of the sport, namely in law which he would be better starting with now rather than waiting to the end of his cricket career.

Ansari ends his career having played three Test matches for England, and one ODI, with over 3,000 first-class runs to his name and 128 wickets.

Spinner turns his back on cricket

Ansari said that it had been a "very difficult decision" to leave the sport he has played since the age of eight, and that his choice was made lightly. 

He continued by thanking his county for backing his decision, saying "Surrey have always completely supported me and I am extremely grateful."

Ansari made his Test debut for England in Bangladesh in 2016 (image source: Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The left-arm spinner was one of the first names on the team sheet for Surrey in red-ball cricket, batting at a number of positions, while spearheading their spin attack.

A career best of 112 with the bat came in Surrey's County Championship fixture with Glamorgan at Colwyn Bay in 2014, while he claimed six five-wicket hauls in his 71 first-class fixtures, with a career-best of 6-30. 

Ansari's strong form for his county culminated in an England call-up, with his only ODI coming in 2015 against Ireland, before he played three Test matches last winter in Bangladesh and India

Surrey's director of cricket, Alec Stewart said that Ansari's "tough but considered decision" is one that everybody should respect. 

"To retire at such a young age when his cricket career was progressing very nicely, earning a Test debut against Bangladesh last winter, proves that he has given great thought in deciding to walk away from the professional game."