Tuesday 7th February brought a cricket news headline that - at least momentarily - distracted fans making their latest fantasy picks, and punters pondering questions such as, What Are Betting Syndicates?.
Australia’s T20 Captain Aaron Finch was the man making the news. After 12 years at the crease, Finch immediately announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket. Having last played in a test back in 2018 and retired from One Day Internationals in September of 2022, this announcement saw Finch step back from the final branch of the international game.
A Lasting Legacy
Making his international debut in a T20 against England back in 2011, the opening batsman went on to represent his country in five tests, 145 One Day Internationals, and 103 T20s. The clear standout moments in what has been a stellar career came when lifting the 50-over World Cup in 2015, and captaining the side to T20 World Cup glory in 2021; Finch acknowledged as much when stating, "Team success is what you play the game for and the maiden T20 World Cup win in 2021 and lifting the ODI World Cup on home soil in 2015 will be the two memories I cherish the most,".
In addition to those team honours, Finch compiled an impressive array of personal achievements, including:
Quite the list of accolades, but Finch’s international form had taken a notable dip in 2022, with his ODI average of 12.42 and T20 average of 28.44, being a notch below his career marks of 39.13 and 34.28 respectively. Whether this played a role in his decision only Finch will know, but it may just be a case of the time being right for a changing of the guard. Finch himself suggested as much when stating, "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 will nevertheless be a great miss for his talent and leadership ability. Considering how much he has given to the game; it certainly seems fitting that he was voted as the player of the match in his final T20 international versus Ireland at the 2022 World Cup.
Dr Lachlan Henderson, Chair of Cricket Australia, summed up the international career of Finch nicely when stating, "In full flight, there were few batters more powerful than Aaron. As one of only four men's players to captain Australia to a World Cup victory, Aaron will always have a special place in Australian cricket's history."
Set to Play on in Domestic Game
We may have seen the last of Finch in the International game, but the 36-year-old will be prolonging his domestic career for at least a little longer. During an illustrious career Finch has represented a total of nine franchises in the Indian Premier League and currently lines up for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League.
Despite the drop in form on an International level, Finch has continued to light it up in the BBL, hitting 428 runs in the most recent campaign on his way to being selected in the Team of the Tournament.