Northants head coach David Ripley and skipper Alex Wakely have paid tribute to wicket-keeper David Murphy, who has announced he will retire from professional cricket at the end of the season.
The 28-year-old is quitting cricket to pursue a career outside of sport,
Murphy joined the Northants Academy in 2007 after representing Hertfordshire at age-group level, and graduated to the County’s first team in 2009, while still studying at Loughborough University.
He was a key member of the Steelbacks’ T20 winning team of 2013, and Ripley said: “From time to time In my 35 years with Northants cricket there’s been a player leave that’s made me think how will we ever replace him?
“I would like to put David Murphy with that small, illustrious, band of players.
“He was a brilliant keeper, especially up to the stumps, a nuggety batter and brilliant team man and friend to all in the dressing room.
“He’s a unique personality who we will sorely miss.
“I wish Murph all the best in his future career, thank him for his outstanding service to the club, I know we will continue to see Murph, John and Mary at the County Ground in future seasons.”
Skipper Wakely added: “It saddens me to hear that Murph has decided to hang up his boots.
“I have grown up with him and he has become a close friend who I will certainly miss.
“He has become a big personality in the dressing room and somebody who always gives everything for the team.
“Murphs keeping was up there with the best and he probably didn’t get the credit he deserved.
“In 2013 he was one of the main reasons we won the T20 with some incredible keeping standing up to all our bowlers, and it was very fitting that he took the winning catch on that day.
“I would like to wish Murph the best of luck with his new career, he will certainly be missed and I think I speak for all when I say he is welcome back to the club whenever he wants.”
Murphy said: “After some careful consideration, I have decided that the 2017 season will be my last as a professional cricketer,” said Murphy.
“Although I still feel I have something to offer Northants as a player, I have received an extremely attractive proposal to work in law in London beginning in 2018.
“The past two years have been spent acquiring the necessary qualifications, and I believe that the time has come for me to grasp this opportunity to progress both my career and personal life away from the game.
“Northamptonshire has achieved a great deal in the time I have been playing, and I feel extremely proud to have played a part in this success.
“Without a doubt, the 2013 season, in which we won our first T20 trophy as well as gained promotion, shall be remembered most fondly, and, specifically, Finals Day itself is one I will never forget.
“I would like to express my gratitude for the support I have received from the fans throughout the years, which has contributed hugely to my performances and the team’s successes.
“I would also like to thank all the coaches who have shown faith in me throughout my career, especially David Ripley who played a large part in my progression as a wicketkeeper in my younger years.
“It will be impossible to forget the number of friends I have made in the game, and I am grateful to all my team-mates for putting up with my quirky habits.
“Most importantly, I would like to thank my parents for their constant and unwavering support throughout and for the help they gave me as a younger player to achieve my aim of playing professional cricket.
“I hope I was able to repay the faith they showed in me.
“Although I believe this decision is the best thing for my life moving forward, playing cricket has been an extremely enjoyable part of my life and I wish Northants continued success.
“I will certainly be watching their future progress with interest.”
Murphy has played 73 first-class matches for the County, scoring 2,138 runs at an average of 28.13, with a top score of 135 not out.
He has claimed 195 catches in his County first-class career and made 16 stumpings.
In onelist A -day cricket, Murphy played 40 times, scoring 272 runs at 22.66 and claiming 26 catches and making 12 stumpings, while in T20 cricket he claimed 18 catches and made five stumpings,
Murphy also played eight one day internationals and four T20 internationals for Scotland.