Nottinghamshire and England spinner Graeme Swann has announced his retirement from cricket.

Swann bows out after 60 Test appearances that yielded 255 wickets.

"I know people will be surprised by the suddenness of the decision and the fact that I'm making myself unavailable for the final two Tests of the Ashes Series," said Swann

"I'd hoped that when we walked out for the fifth Test in Sydney, it would have been with a chance of winning or retaining the Ashes but that has gone now.

"I came to Australia in the hope of winning our fourth Ashes series on the trot but that's now impossible. It's time for someone else to buckle in and enjoy the ride.

"I could have made myself available for the last two Tests and maybe had a bit of a send-off from the Barmy Army. But that's no reason to hang on for two more games."

"He was an outstanding character to have in a cricket team." Mick Newell

Nottinghamshire Director of Cricket Mick Newell praised Swann's impact for Club and country.

"Swanny has been a dominant performer in Test cricket for six years and it will leave a huge gap in the England team because there is no outstanding spinner quite ready to fill the place that he will leave," said Newell.

"His chance on the international scene came very late after a long period in county cricket but he grasped it and surpassed all expectations with his achievements at the highest level."

Swann joined Nottinghamshire from Northants and played a key role in the Club's Championship triumph in 2005.

"He joined us with a reputation for not taking things seriously but I found him to be very thoughtful about his cricket and very committed to improving his game," said Newell.

"He knows how to perk up a dressing room and he was an outstanding character to have in a cricket team."

Newell has ruled out any attempt to harness Swann's future in a formal capacity but hopes that he will remain a familiar face at Trent Bridge.

"I'd imagine that coaching would be far too mundane for him but he'll always be welcome at Trent Bridge," said Newell.

"I expect that we'll see him launch a media career and I'm sure he'll be very successful."

Swann has played through the pain barrier in recent years with a recurring elbow injury causing him significant discomfort.

He recently completed a Benefit Year awarded to him by the Nottinghamshire Committee which helped to raise funds for four charities including the Trent Bridge Community Trust.