Gareth Berg has announced his retirement from professional cricket, ending a 16-year playing career.

Berg made his first-class debut for Middlesex in 2008 and has gone on to 321 wickets and 5565 runs across 152 appearances. In total the 42-year-old finishes with 374 matches to his name, taking 531 wickets and scoring 8379 runs across all formats.

“Started hitting sixes over the neighbour’s fence age 3, scored my first hundred at the age of 9, maiden first-class century and 5 wicket haul on the hallowed turf at Lord’s.

“At age 42, my county cricket playing days are done.”

Although Berg didn’t join Northamptonshire until the end of 2019 – following his spells with Middlesex and Hampshire – he had experienced cricket in the county many years earlier, appearing in the old Northants County League for Kettering Town (2003) and Finedon Dolben (2004).

He made his Championship debut for Northamptonshire against Leicestershire at Grace Road in September 2019 at the age of 38 (the County’s oldest first-class debutant since Jon Batty’s one-off appearance six years earlier), and dismissed Colin Ackermann – caught by Rob Newton – with his first delivery for the club.

Gareth went on to make 24 first-class appearances for Northamptonshire (including four at the start of the 2023 campaign) and also played five times for the Steelbacks in the T20 Blast.  In 2021, aged 40, he harvested 24 wickets in nine Championship matches – sharing the first 19 wickets with Ben Sanderson against Sussex at Wantage Road – until a freak accident during warm-up at Cardiff in July ended his season.

“I played some of my best cricket for Northamptonshire and I want to thank the support staff and coaches for their help over the past four years.” Berg said.

“To the players, I will miss you! I hope they can achieve good things over the coming years and I have some fond memories of playing alongside the guys.”

After that, his international commitments as player-coach with Italy impacted on his Northamptonshire involvement – but in April of this year he proved his worth with the bat, sharing a crucial century partnership with Rob Keogh against Kent at Canterbury.

His 626 first-class runs for Northamptonshire featured a highest score of 75 (batting at number ten) off the Essex attack at Chelmsford last year, and he also claimed 56 wickets including two five-wicket hauls.

Northamptonshire Head Coach John Sadler was full of praise for Berg as he moves on to a career in coaching.

“Bergy has been an excellent cricketer and top pro for a long time.

“You always know what you get from Bergy, 100% effort and contributions in every discipline.”

“He’s had a fantastic playing career and I have no doubt he will go on to have a successful coaching career.”