Photo Credit: Twitter profile photo of Craig Cachopa
The Auckland Aces will have a new white-ball captain next summer after Craig Cachopa announced today that he is pulling stumps on his professional career.
The 28-year-old veteran leaves the Domestic game on a high after having led the Aces to both The Ford Trophy and Dream11 Super Smash Grand Finals this season, the Aces going on to lift The Ford Trophy for the second time in the space of three seasons under his leadership.
Cachopa also represented the Wellington Firebirds and Sussex during his career but it was a special moment in his final season when he brought up 50 appearances for his side in both The Ford Trophy and Dream11 Super Smash competitions.
After setting off on his career as a wicketkeeper-batsman at Auckland’s Westlake Boys’ High School, Cachopa captained New Zealand Under 19 at the 2009/10 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, reaching the quarterfinals.
He finishes with 47 first-class, 88 List A and 102 T20 matches to his name since his Domestic debut in 2011.
Cachopa said there have been many highs along the way.
“It’s been an honour to travel and make friends while getting the opportunity to play in some amazing stadiums and grounds.
“It was a great privilege to play alongside amazing overseas players like Mahela Jayawardena, Murali, George Bailey, Aaron Finch, Jofra Archer, Luke Wright and Brad Hodge.”
Auckland, however, would always be home for Cachopa who joined Takapuna Cricket Club when he was 10.
“My family live here, I went to school here, my roots are here and gosh I love batting at Eden Park.”
Soon to qualify as a builder after taking up a carpentry apprenticeship in recent years, Cachopa says he has never been a cricket tragic, but always enjoyed the challenges of the game.
“I wouldn’t say I lived and breathed the game. I guess everyone is different. I always said I wanted to step aside while I was enjoying myself and before I became grumpy or resentful towards the game.
‘I have a construction career outside of cricket that I am passionate about and it feels like the right time to start the next chapter of life.”
Auckland Cricket reported that Cachopa would like to make a few personal and professional acknowledgements.
“I would like to show my gratitude to all the coaches and mentors over the past 10 years. To the Wellington Firebirds for an initial opportunity to play professional cricket; to Sussex County Cricket Club for making the dream of playing County Cricket a reality; to Auckland Cricket Association for always being my constant base; and the NZCPA for the guidance and encouragement to find a career outside of cricket.
“I must also thank my family and my fiancée who have been through the many highs and lows with amazing support and love.”
First-class: 47 matches, 2752 runs at 34.83; HS 203; 5×100, 16×50; 28 catches
List A: 88 matches, 2211 runs at 26.96; HS 121; 3×100, 10×50; 48 catches
T20: 103 matches, 1978 runs at 27.47; HS 89*; 6×50: SR 132.13; 55 catches, 1 stumping