Nathan Astle is a former New Zealand cricketer who represented his country in all formats of the game. He was born on 15 September 1971 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Astle was a right-handed batsman and a handy right-arm medium pace bowler. He is recognized as one of the all time greats for Black Caps in ODI cricket.
In his teenage years, Astle joined the East Christchurch-Shirley Cricket Club and used to bat at number six and bowl medium pace. He made his first-class debut for Canterbury against Central Districts.
He failed to perform in the first three seasons. His breakthrough performance came during the 1994-95 season when he made 663 runs at an average of 55.25.
After his impressive performance for Canterbury in the 1994-95 season, Astle was selected for the ODI series against West Indies in 1995. He scored 25 runs in a low scoring rain affected match.
Astle made his Test debut against Zimbabwe at Hamilton in 1996. He managed to score just 77 runs in four innings of the series at an average of 19.25. On the tour of West Indies in the same year, Astle scored two centuries.
Rise to glory
Under the guidance of Glen Turner, then coach of New Zealand, Astle was promoted as an opener and he had great success.
He was New Zealand's top run scorer in the 1997 Pepsi Independence Cup. In a home series against Zimbabwe, he amassed 351 runs and was named Man of the Series.
Astle failed miserably in the 1999 Cricket World Cup in England. He scored just 79 runs in nine matches at an average of 8.77.
In domestic cricket, Astle played for Canterbury. He has played County cricket in England for Nottinghamshire (1997), Derbyshire (2003), Durham (2005) and Lancashire (2006).
Stats and Records
Astle was one of the most prolific players to have played for New Zealand. In ODIs, he scored 7090 runs in 223 matches at an average of 34.93 and had 99 wickets to his name. In Tests, he scored 4702 runs in 137 innings at an average of 36.73, with 222 as his highest score.
Astle is only the second New Zealand player to have scored more than 7000 runs in ODIs. He holds the record for scoring the fastest double century in Test cricket.
He has the second highest individual score in the fourth innings of a Test match. He achieved these two records when he scored 222 against England in Christchurch in 2002.
Just weeks before the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, Astle announced his retirement from International cricket, citing lack of motivation and his patchy form in the recent matches as reasons for his retirement.