Aaron Finch announces retirement from one-day cricket

Aaron Finch, Australia’s 24th men’s ODI captain, will retire from one-day international cricket after the third Dettol ODI against New Zealand on Sunday.

The opening batter, who turns 36 in November, will remain captain of the national T20 side that is preparing to defend the World Cup title on home soil next month.

Finch will play his 146th and final one-day international on Sunday at Cazalys Stadium in Cairns, capping off an outstanding career that has seen him captain his country 54 times in the format.

His 17 centuries for Australia put him behind only greats Ricky Ponting (29), David Warner and Mark Waugh (both 18).

Finch’s shock decision comes after a lean run of scores in the 50-over format this season, with his last seven innings netting him only 26 runs.

Finch’s original plan had been to lead the team to the 2023 ODI World Cup in India, stating in 2020 that being in charge for that tournament was his “ultimate goal”.

But Finch said in a statement released on Saturday morning it was now time to give a new leader the best possible opportunity to prepare for and win the next ODI World Cup.

“It has been a fantastic ride with some incredible memories,” Finch said.

“I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of some brilliant one-day sides. Equally, I have been blessed by all those I have played with and the many people behind the scenes.

“I thank all of those who have helped and supported my journey to this point.”

Finch made his ODI debut against Sri Lanka at MCG in 2013, sharing that honour with fellow first-gamers Phillip Hughes and Usman Khawaja.

In no time he became a mainstay for Australia at the top of the order and in just his 49th ODI he became a World Cup champion in 2015 with victory over New Zealand in Melbourne.

His superb 135 off 128 balls in Australia’s tournament opener against arch-rivals England at his home ground the MCG helped set the tone for a dominant campaign where Australia lost only one match by the narrowest of margins.

Finch took the reins of the ODI side full-time in 2018 and led Australia in the 2019 World Cup, a campaign that ended with semi-final defeat to eventual winners England.

The Victorian’s most recent one-day century came against India in November 2020 and he finished that year with scores of 60 and 75 against the same opponent.

But due to a knee injury in the West Indies, Finch didn’t play any 50-over cricket in 2021 and in 2022 has failed thus far to re-capture the dominating form that has been such a feature of his career.

Finch’s year-to-date has been a nightmare for the skipper, scoring 169 runs at an average of 13 with five ducks and only 26 runs at an average of 3.71 in his last seven innings.

“On behalf of Australian Cricket, I would like to congratulate Aaron on his vast contribution as captain of the Australian men’s ODI team and as a wonderful exponent of the 50-over format,” Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said in a statement.

“Aaron is an enormously gifted and determined player whose outstanding deeds with the bat have been matched by his strong and inspiring leadership.

“His decision to step aside from the ODI captaincy now is typical of his selfless approach to the game.

“I’m delighted that Aaron will lead the Australian team into the forthcoming ICC Men’s 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.”

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