Jason Lewry slipped quietly away from county cricket this week in just the style he wanted.

On the final day of his career at Trent Bridge last Saturday he took two wickets including Mark Ealham, the Nottinghamshire all-rounder who is also retiring.

Lewry reluctantly led the team off to a standing ovation from the few hundred supporters scattered around Trent Bridge, quickly doffing his cap as he disappeared up the pavilion steps. That was it after bowling 35,662 deliveries in the Sussex cause.

No presentations, no laps of honour – perhaps just the odd tear on Sunday evening in the dressing room at Worcester when he said goodbyes to his team-mates, some of whom have played alongside Lewry for the last 16 seasons.

I spoke to Jason on Monday, just after he had begun clearing his locker out of kit to write a proper tribute to him in tomorrow’s Argus. The over-riding emotion now it is all over is relief rather than regret.

Travesty There have been no better left-arm quick (or quickish in later years) in England for the past decade or so than Lewry and it’s a travesty that the nearest a player with his talent got to playing international cricket was an A tour to South Africa a decade ago when someone like Alan Mullally – another southpaw – played 19 Tests and 50 ODIs.

But by his own admission Lewry would have struggled with the pressure to perform at the highest level. Five wickets in a Test at Sydney or a convivial night in the Black Rabbit at Arundel playing darts with his mates? No contest for someone whose Sussex roots run deep.

For the last five years we have had the same conversation at the end of the season. Might next year be his last? And the following Spring he came back, continued to take wickets and played an integral part in the most successful era in Sussex’s history.

Sadly, pounding away on Hove’s unyielding wickets has caught up with him. His knees are knackered and he contracted glandular fever in March and is still not 100% six months later.

Like Mushy, he will be irreplaceable. Since making his debut against South Africa at Hove in 1994 he has taken 621 first-class wickets, more than any seam bowler in Sussex’s modern history, bowled 5943 overs and scored 2061 runs.

He won’t be at tomorrow’s end-of-season presentation because of a pre-arranged trip to watch the Arc De Triomphe in Paris. That’s a shame for supporters who would have liked to have given him a proper send-off although the prospect of having to make a speech would fill Lewry with dread.

Instead, he will depart in the same way he arrived in 1994 from club cricket with Goring. On his terms, no fuss please.

And after all he has given to Sussex cricket it’s the least he deserves.