Thursday, April 9, 2020

New Zealand Cricket: Astle steps back from red-ball cricket

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Canterbury spinner Todd Astle is stepping back from long-form cricket and has made himself unavailable for the upcoming New Zealand A First-Class series against India A in Christchurch.

The 33-year-old BLACKCAP said he’d given the decision a lot of thought and felt it was time to move forward with a white-ball focus.

“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.

“I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve with Canterbury and the BLACKCAPS. 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.”

Astle finishes as the top First-Class wicket-taker for Canterbury with 303 wickets and has five Tests to his name since debuting against Sri Lanka in 2012.

Selector Gavin Larsen congratulated Todd on his long-form career.

“Todd’s been an absolute stalwart for Canterbury in the Plunket Shield and his First Class record speaks for itself,” Larsen said.

“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.

“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.”

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