Daniel Vettori confirms retirement from NZ cricket
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Veteran spinner Daniel Vettori returned home to New Zealand on Tuesday and confirmed what he had hinted at last week — the Cricket World Cup final against Australia was his last match for New Zealand.
Vettori had indicated that Sunday’s final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground would likely be the last of his 18-year international career but didn’t formally announce his retirement.
He did so Tuesday when the New Zealand team arrived home from Australia, telling reporters at Auckland’s airport that the World Cup final was “a lovely way to finish. Obviously, it would’ve been great to win but I’m really proud of everyone and the way we’ve gone about things the last six weeks.”
Vettori retires as New Zealand’s most-capped player in tests and one-day internationals. Having made his debut in 1997 at 18 years old, he’s spent half his life on the New Zealand team.
“To be able to finish in the final, albeit without a win, I’m just very grateful for the amount of support I had,” he said, mentioning captain Brendon McCullum and coach Mike Hesson, specifically. “To be able to get back from a number of injuries and to be here and to be part of it … is something I’ll always treasure.”
Vettori appeared in 113 test matches and 295th one-day internationals in his New Zealand career, scoring 4 531 runs and taking 362 wickets.
In his final match, he scored nine runs and took 0-25 from five overs, but it wasn’t enough as Australia won its fifth World Cup title by seven wickets.