New Zealand legspinner Todd Astle has announced he’s quitting first-class cricket to focus on his limited-overs career. The 33-year-old played five Tests for New Zealand after making his debut in 2012, the most recent being against Australia in Sydney earlier this month. Also Read - Watch Live Streaming Cricket New Zealand vs Australia 1st T20I: Where to Watch NZ vs AUS Stream Live Cricket Online And on TV
Astle says the commitment required to play the longest format is beyond his reach now so now. “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 said. “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.” Also Read - Australia T20I Squad: Teenage Spinner Tanveer Sangha Gets Maiden Call-up For New Zealand Tour
Astle played 119 first-class matches, taking 334 wickets at 32.17 including 13 five-wicket hauls. He also scored 4345 runs at 25.86 including two centuries and 22 half-centuries. Also Read - ICC Rankings: Kane Williamson-Led New Zealand Become No.1 Test Team For First Time in History
“I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve with Canterbury and the Blackcaps,” he said. “To have the opportunity to play a Test against Australia at the SCG was an experience I’ll always cherish. I’m excited to now focus all my energy into the white-ball formats, as well as give more time to my young family and new business.”
New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen paid tributes to Astle’s perseverance. “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,” Larsen said.
He added, “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.”