Batsman Ashwell Prince will play his last match for the Warriors when they face the Cobras in Cape Town on Thursday. Photo Stephane de Sakutin

Johannesburg – Ashwell Prince, who has played for the Warriors since 2008, announced his retirement from cricket on Wednesday.

“I’m looking forward to a new phase in my life and am very grateful for the opportunities that cricket has afforded me,” Prince said on Wednesday.

“I'm thankful that I’ve had a wonderful career from a sport that I love and thank everyone that has been involved in any way over the past 19 years of my career.”

Prince will play his last match for his franchise when they meet the Cobras in a first-class match in Cape Town, starting on Thursday.

Prince made his Test debut in 2002 and went on to play 66 Test matches and 52 one day internationals for the Proteas.

He made his first-class debut in 1995 and has played 255 matches, scoring 15 801 runs at an average of 43.29.

The left-handed batsman’s 5911 runs in 250 domestic limited-overs matches included three centuries and 31 fifties.

A profilic fielder, Prince has taken 348 catches in domestic cricket.

He has also played 79 Twenty20 matches, scoring 1640 runs.

Prince will spend the winter months with county Lancashire before returning to South Africa with a new focus – football.

He has always had a passion for soccer and is hoping to establish an academy in Port Elizabeth.

Warriors’s coach Piet Botha described Prince as the “ultimate warrior”.

Botha said the player’s passion on and off the field always had a positive effect on the team and he had played a vital role in the franchise’s success. – Sapa