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Vaughan again no more

It's a shame to see Michael Vaughan has retired. Apart from anything else, he's one of the nicest blokes in cricket: look at that anecdote about his son in the above story. But mainly, of course, he's a fantastic cricketer and captain par excellence.

I do think it's too early for him to retire. He has struggled with form of late, but the greats are able to turn that around. Ricky Ponting confessed he thought Vaughan "might have had a bit more to offer international cricket", and I agree. Think what a vice-captain he'd make to Andrew Strauss.

Also, if the rightly-picked younger players start to stutter then England might need someone with experience, and while the likes of Collingwood, Strauss and - God help us - Pietersen have that experience, they don't have the Test nouse that Vaughan has.

But I don't judge the selectors for dropping Vaughan - of course not. You need to pick on form and current quality, not performances of yesteryear. I wouldn't have picked him for the 16-man squad either (although, having just seen his performance in the Lions warm-up game against Australia, I'm not sure I feel the same about Harmison). It's just a shame that Vaughan took this opportunity to retire because I, like Ponting, really feel he has more to offer. If he'd stuck around on the county circuit for another year or two, he might have picked up a lot more runs and even found himself back in the international set-up - and even if he didn't, he'd still be a major player at his beloved Yorkshire.

So do I think he's lost his bottle and retiring too soon? Yes. He's 34: the 'spending time with the family' excuse doesn't ring true yet, and since he's blaming a loss of form anyway, it's not even relevant. This may seem harsh, but remember I'm a massive Michael Vaughan fan, and let us remember him this way. But ultimately, when the going gets tough the tough get going, and Vaughan has - unfortunately, in the wrong direction.

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