New Zealand fast bowler Chris Martin announces retirement from all forms
New Zealand fast bowler Chris Martin has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. The Veteran pacer finishes off his illustrious career as New Zealand’s third highest wicket-taker of all time in Test match cricket with 233 wickets.
Martin made his Test debut for New Zealand against South Africa in 2000 and since then went on to play 71 Tests. His most memorable performance came against South Africa at Auckland in 2004, where he managed to get a career best figures of 11 for 180 en route New Zealand’s 9-wicket victory.
Seen as a genuine Test match specialist bowler, Martin managed to play 20 ODIs claiming just 18 wickets. He also represented his country in 6 Twenty20 matches.
In 2008, he was ranked the 10th best bowler in Test cricket, which was his career best ranking. He won the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal at the 2011 as the country’s top performer of the year.
He played his last game in January 2013 as he failed to make it into the team for the recently concluded tour of England. The emergence of a new breed of exciting young fast bowlers for New Zealand cricket has assured Martin that the time is right to hang up his boots.
“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,” said Martin.
“I want to thank my family, all those at New Zealand Cricket, Auckland Cricket and Canterbury Cricket for their help and support over the years.
Rarely have fast bowlers continued to perform their best after crossing the 30-year mark, but Chris Martin has defied all odds. The 38-year old’s tough fitness schedule has ensured that he got the maximum out of his body despite his age.
New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White paid tribute to Martin’s contribution to New Zealand cricket,
“During his career Chris has formed a reputation as one of the most consistent performers in world cricket, something which can be put down to his relentless work ethic. He’s shown all the qualities required to perform on the international scene – fight, determination and a huge passion for the game. It’s his attitude which has led Chris to becoming one of New Zealand’s most successful Test bowlers,” said White.
Coach Mike Hesson believes despite the emergence of promising youngsters, it will be hard to replace Martin.
“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.”
“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.”
Despite being a good bowling record, what made Martin famous among the fans was his poor batting. In 104 Test innings, he scored 123 runs at an average of 2.36. Although Courtney Walsh (43) made more ducks than Martin’s 36, he he holds to record for most Test pairs – seven.