New Zealand fast bowler Chris Martin, his country's third highest Test wicket taker, on Wednesday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
“It feels like the right time to step down. I have loved every second and given it everything when playing for the Black Caps, but after 15 years of professional cricket, it’s time to pursue a new challenge,” Martin was quoted as saying in a statement issued by New Zealand Cricket (NZC).
The 38-year-old Martin played 71 Tests, 20 One-Day Internationals and six International Twenty20s after making his Test debut against South Africa in 2000.
Martin struggled to force himself into the New Zealand team in the shorter formats, but was a regular in the five-day version of the game and he ended his career with 233 Test wickets.
Martin's last Test incidentally was also against South Africa, in Cape Town in January 2013. Martin also spoke about the pride he felt while putting on the national team's cap.
“Wearing the silver fern has brought me a huge amount of pride and will be something I’ll always cherish. Representing the Black Caps has been a massive privilege, and playing with a group of guys who’re so passionate about doing well for their country has been very special. I wish Brendon (McCullum) and the team all the best for the future,” Martin said in the statement.
Martin was a force when he was injury-free and he was ranked as the 10th best Test bowler in the world in 2008. New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said Martin was a respected player in the dressing room and his experience would be sorely missed.
“The way Chris goes about his business both on and off the field has made him one of the most respected players in the changing room. With over 200 Test wickets his stats speak for themselves, but his knowledge and experience make his presence in the group so important,” said Hesson.
"He’s been a great role model for younger team mates and will be sorely missed. We wish him all the best for the future.”
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