Wellington, March 31: New Zealand left-arm spinner Daniel Vettori confirmed what many expected in announcing his retirement from international cricket upon the team’s return from the World Cup on Tuesday.
The 36-year-old former captain had been widely expected to retire from international cricket at the conclusion of New Zealand’s involvement in the tournament. New Zealand were beaten by seven wickets by co-hosts Australia in the final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday, with Vettori suffering a lower leg injury before the game.
He finished with 0-25 from five overs, though took 15 wickets at 20.46 throughout the tournament with an economy rate of 4.04. “It was my last game for New Zealand so it was a lovely way to finish,” he told reporters at Auckland airport. “It would have been great to win but I’m pretty proud of everyone and the way they’ve gone about things for the last six weeks.
“To be able to finish in the final albeit without a win, I’m just very grateful for the amount of support I had particularly from Brendon (McCullum) and Mike (Hesson). “To be able to get back from a number of injuries and to be here and to be part of it … is something I’ll always treasure.”
Vettori retires as New Zealand’s most capped test and one-day player having played his 113th test match against Pakistan in United Arab Emirates last November, more than two years since his last appearance in the longest form of the game. Achilles and back injuries restricted his appearances in the latter years of his career but he worked hard on his fitness to be included in New Zealand’s World Cup squad.
He took his 300th ODI wicket during the tournament against Afghanistan in Napier, becoming the 12th bowler to achieve the mark. He finished with 305 wickets in total from 295 games for New Zealand and a World XI. Vettori is the ninth player to take more than 300 wickets in both tests and ODIs, having finished his test career with 362 wickets and is the second-highest test wicket taker for New Zealand.
Fast bowler Richard Hadlee, the first man to 400 test wickets, ended his career with 431. Vettori, who made his international debut as an 18-year-old, led the side following the retirement of Stephen Fleming in 2008 until after the 2011 World Cup.
A succession of injuries since then ended his hopes of surpassing Hadlee’s wickets tally, though Vettori scored more runs than the fast bowler, notching 4,531 runs in tests at an average of exactly 30, with six centuries. Across all teams, he is the most prolific number eight batsman in tests, having scored 2,227 runs with four centuries at an average of just under 40 there.