Australia captain Aaron Finch announced that he will retire from ODI cricket on Sunday when his team plays New Zealand in the third and final 50-over game of the three-match series. The 35-year-old is set to feature in his 146th ODI before leaving the format in which he has scored 5,401 runs at an average of 39. Cricket Australia (CA) said in a statement Saturday that Finch will continue to captain Australia in T20 cricket as they defend their world title in the upcoming T20 World Cup at home. Also Read | Aaron Finch to retire from ODI cricket after New Zealand series
“It has been a fantastic ride with some incredible memories,” said Finch, who played 145 ODI matches, 54 as captain. His highest score in the format remains 153. “I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of some brilliant one-day sides. It is time now to give a new leader the best possible opportunity to prepare for and win the next World Cup. I thank all of those who have helped and supported my journey to this point.”
Finch’s 17 ODI centuries put him behind only greats Ricky Ponting (29), David Warner and Mark Waugh (both 18), and one clear of Adam Gilchrist. But he has recently witnessed a lean patch with the bat, scoring 5, 5, 1, 15, 0, 0, 0 in his last seven outings.
Former India captain Virat Kohli also shared a heartfelt note for the Australian and said it was great to play with him and against him at Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the IPL. “Well done finchy. It was great to play against you all these years and with you as well at rcb. Enjoy the next phase of your life to the fullest,” commented Kohli on Finch’s Instagram post.
Finch said in 2020 that being in charge for the 2023 ODI World Cup in India was his “ultimate goal”, but with a year to go, he said it was time “to give a new leader the best possible opportunity to prepare for and win the next World Cup”.
“I thank all of those who have helped and supported my journey to this point,” he said.
Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley paid tribute to Finch as “a wonderful exponent of the 50-over format”. Finch made his one-day debut against Sri Lanka in 2013 and soon became a key element at the top of the order. He also scored 280 runs in 8 games in the 2015 World Cup, which Australia won by defeating New Zealand in the final clash.
“Aaron is an enormously gifted and determined player whose outstanding deeds with the bat have been matched by his strong and inspiring leadership,” said Hockley. “His decision to step aside from the ODI captaincy now is typical of his selfless approach to the game.
“I’m delighted Aaron will lead the Australian team into the forthcoming T20 World Cup where his leadership, experience and tactical nous will be integral to the defence of our T20 World Cup title on home soil.”