New Zealand leg-spinner Todd Astle announced his retirement from Test cricket on Tuesday. The veteran spinner has made himself unavailable for the upcoming New Zealand A first-class series against India A in Christchurch to focus on his limited-overs career. After making his debut in 2012, the 33-year old managed to play just five Tests before retiring from the red-ball cricket.
He never really managed to cement his place in New Zealand’s Test team. Astle’s last Test appearance for the Kiwis came earlier this month in Sydney against Australia. Astle managed to pick up just seven wickets in the five Tests he played. He also scored 98 runs with the bat. Speaking about his decision, Astle said that he is finding it tough to maintain the level of commitment needed to play Test cricket.
“Playing test cricket was always the dream and I’m so honoured to have represented my country and province in the longest form of the game,” Astle was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz.
“Red-ball cricket is the pinnacle, but also requires a huge amount of time and effort. As I’ve got to the back end of my career I’ve found it harder to maintain the level of commitment required to be fully invested in this version of the game,” he added.
Astle is not a regular part of New Zealand’s ODI and T20I teams either. He last played an ODI during the Bangladesh series at home in February last year while his final T20I appearance came in September 2019. So far, he has played 9 ODIs and 3 T20Is.
National selector congratulates Todd Astle
New Zealand’s national selector Gavin Larsen congratulated Todd Astle on his long-form career. Larsen pointed out the spinner’s performance for his domestic side Canterbury. Astle retires as Canterbury’s highest wicket-taker in first-class cricket. He picked a total of 303 wickets for his domestic side.
Larsen also said that New Zealand Cricket supports Astle’s decision to walk away from red-ball cricket. “Todd’s been an absolute stalwart for Canterbury in the Plunket Shield and his first-class record speaks for itself. To prepare and play four-day cricket at such a level for the best part of 15 seasons is a credit to him and his perseverance. His ability to turn the ball both ways and build pressure always made him a threat with the red-ball in hand.
“We appreciate this would have been a tough call for Todd and we absolutely support his proactive decision. He wants to get the most out of himself at this stage of his career and spend more time with his family, and those are admirable reasons,” he added.
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