Australia’s white-ball expert Aaron Finch retires from international cricket
Melbourne : Aaron Finch, who led Australia to their first ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title in 2021, called time on his international cricket career on Tuesday. Finch, Australian Men’s T20 Captain, announced his retirement from all international cricket, 12 years after making his debut.
Having retired from One-Day Internationals in September 2022 after playing 146 matches, Finch has now decided to step away from T20 Internationals after playing 103 matches, where he averaged 34.28 at a strike rate of 142.5. He also played five Test matches in 2018.
“Realising that I won’t be playing on until the next T20 World Cup in 2024, now is the right moment to step down and give the team time to plan and build towards that event,” Finch told reporters at the MCG.
“I also want to say a huge thank you to all the fans who have supported me throughout my international career.” Finch, 36, first represented Australia in the U19 World Cup in 2006 — alongside current internationals Usman Khawaja, Matthew Wade and David Warner.
Renowned for his power at the top of the order, Finch’s 172 off 76 balls against Zimbabwe in 2018 remains the highest individual score in T20 Internationals. At the time, this innings broke his own record of 156 of 63 balls against England in 2013.
Finch captained Australia in 76 T20 Internationals, more than any other men’s player, leading the team to a maiden ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title in 2021.
He finishes his career as a two-time World Cup winner having been a part of the squad that claimed the 50-over ICC Cricket World Cup title on home soil in 2015, cricket Australia informed in a release on Tuesday.
In what turned out to be Finch’s final match in the green and gold, he finished with a player-of-the-match performance against Ireland at the most recent T20 World Cup. Finch will continue to play in T20 domestic competitions, including the KFC Big Bash League.
Speaking at the MCG to announce his retirement, Aaron Finch said: “Realising that I won’t be playing on until the next T20 World Cup in 2024, now is the right moment to step down and give the team time to plan and build towards that event.
Finch termed the World Cup triumphs as the most memorable moments of his career. “Team success is what you play the game for and the maiden T20 World Cup win in 2021 and lifting the ODI World Cup on home soil in 2015 will be the two memories I cherish the most.
“To be able to represent Australia for 12 years and play with and against some of the greatest players of all time has been an incredible honour,” he added.
Cricket Australia Chair, Dr Lachlan Henderson said: “On behalf of Cricket Australia, I’d like to congratulate Aaron on an exceptional international career, where he finishes as one of our finest white-ball players.
In full flight, there were few batters more powerful than Aaron, illustrated by the fact he holds two of the three highest-ever scores in T20 International cricket.
“While he was a tough competitor on the field, Aaron always played the game with a smile on his face and in the right spirit. This earned him the respect of his teammates, opposition players and fans from around the world,” he was quoted as saying in the release.
“As one of only four men’s players to captain Australia to a World Cup victory, Aaron will always have a special place in Australian Cricket’s history.
“Playing at the highest level for over a decade requires incredible determination and dedication, so we thank Aaron for his enormous contribution and wish him all the best in the next phase of his career,” Henderson said.
At the domestic level, Finch played for Victoria (2007/08 to present) and Melbourne Renegades (2011/12 to present) in the Big Bash League. He was a big star in franchise T20 cricket and played for various teams in the Indian Premier League since he was first picked by Rajasthan Royals in the 2010 auction.
In the IPL, he represented Delhi Daredevils (2011-12), Pune Warriors India (2013), Sunrisers Hyderabad (2014), Mumbai Indians (2015), Gujarat Lions (2016-17), Kings XI Punjab (2018), Royal Challengers Bangalore (2020) and Kolkata Knight Riders (2022).
He also played for Yorkshire (2014-15) and Surrey (2016-19) in England, Auckland Aces (2012-13) in New Zealand and Ruhuna Royals in the Sri Lanka Premier League (2012), scoring 11,382 runs in 381 T20 matches in all, hitting eight centuries and 77 fifties.
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