MARK Currie has retired from Minor Counties cricket. Article by Neil Goulding

The former Lancashire ace, returned to the Cheshire side this season having been released by the Red Rose county at the start of the 2005-6 season.

But despite having just spent a season back with the Cheshire team, the talented right-handed has decided his Minor Counties days are over.

Currie will still captain Alderley Edge in the Murray Smith Accountants Cheshire County League this season, but his run-scoring and experience will be a big loss to the county side.

"Mark's been a very good player for Cheshire and he's going to be sadly missed," admitted Cheshire chairman of selectors Gerry Hardstaff, who has seen both of Currie's two spells with the county.

"It's a shock to me and the players that Mark has decided not to play this season, but you have to respect his decision," added Hardstaff, a fond admirer of one of Cheshire's capped players.

"Mark will admit himself that he didn't have the best of seasons last year, but he's still a very good player and I would have loved for him to play this year."

Currie, 26, played for Poynton as a junior, before excelling through the ranks and playing representative cricket for Cheshire juniors.

He was spotted by Lancashire, played for the first team on a few occasions and the club's second-string, but failed to cement a regular first-team place and returned to the Minor Counties fold with Cheshire.