Australia batsman and T20 captain Aaron Finch announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday, calling time on a prolific 12-year career.
Finch, 36, guided the Aussies to the T20 World Cup title in the UAE in 2021 and was also part of the squad that won the 50-over version on home soil in 2015.
However, his dwindling returns with the bat had put his position at the top of the order under scrutiny. Finch had retired from ODI cricket last September and after a disappointing T20 World Cup, where Australia failed to reach the final.
"Realising that I won't be playing on until the next T20 World Cup in 2024, now is the right moment to step down and give the team time to plan and build towards that event," Finch told reporters at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
"To be able to represent Australia for 12 years and play with and against some of the greatest players of all time has been an incredible honour.
"I think that the time is right to allow them enough time and space to allow a new captain to take over and move the team in their direction. It's been a pretty amazing ride."
It was not immediately clear who would replace the Victoria-born batsman, who has captained the team in 76 of the 103 T20s he has played since debuting against England in 2011.
Though a declining output of runs preceded his ODI retirement, Finch had an excellent Big Bash League T20 tournament, smashing 428 runs at an average of 38.9 to help guide the Melbourne Renegades into the knockout rounds.
However, it was not enough to convince Finch to continue, and he he said he looked forward to spending time with his wife Amy and one-year-old daughter Esther.
"When you're on the road for best part of 12 years you go through some highs and you go through some lows, and to always have my family there to support me has been amazing," he said.
"And that's always been unwavering, so I'm very thankful for that."
Highlights of Finch's career
- Finch has hit two of the three highest scores in T20 Internationals – a world record 172 off 76 balls against Zimbabwe in Harare in 2018 and 156 against England in Southampton in 2013.
- He was part of the 2015 ODI World Cup-winning squad and captained Australia to the 2021 T20 World Cup title.
- In 2018, Finch rose to the top of T20I rankings for batsmen.
- Finch retires with 3,120 runs in T20Is at an average of 34.28. He is one of only six batsmen to score more than 3,000 runs in the format at the top level.
- Finch made his Test debut in 2018 to replace David Warner after the opener was suspended following the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa. However, his Test career lasted just five matches.
- The burly batsman scored 5,406 ODI runs at an average of 38.89 and played mostly as an opener.