MELBOURNE: Australian men’s T20 skipper Aaron Finch announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday, saying he was honored to have played with some of the game’s best.
Finch, a devastating opening batter at his height, has been under scrutiny since Australia failed to advance to the final stage of last year’s T20 World Cup at home.
It was unclear who will take over for the Victoria-born hitter, who has captained the squad in 76 of the 103 T20 internationals he has played since making his debut against England in 2011.
“Because I will not be playing until the next T20 World Cup in 2024, now is the time to step down and give the squad time to organize and grow for that event,” he said.
The 36-year-old led Australia to their first T20 World Cup title in 2021 in Dubai.
He stepped down as Australia’s one-day captain in September of last year.
“It is been a wonderful honor to be able to represent Australia for 12 years and play with and against some of the best players of all time,” he said.
Finch owns the record for the highest T20 international score, which he set in 2018 after hitting 172 runs off 76 balls against Zimbabwe.
He also has the third-highest T20 international score, 156 against England in 2013.
Finch was described as one of Australia’s “finest white-ball players” by Cricket Australia chairman Lachlan Henderson.
“While Aaron was a difficult competitor on the field, he always played with a smile on his face and the correct spirit,” Henderson said.
Finch, although prolific in short overs cricket (he amassed 5,406 ODI runs and 3,120 T20 international runs), failed to make an impact in the test arena.
He appeared in five tests for Australia in 2018 but was dropped after failing to impress selectors.
Finch will most likely continue to play T20 cricket in Australia’s domestic league.