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Rediff News  All News  » Cricket » Nathan Astle quits international scene

Nathan Astle quits international scene

January 26, 2007 09:33 IST

New Zealand opening batsman Nathan Astle has retired from international cricket with immediate effect.

Astle announced his retirement on Friday in Perth, Australia, where the New Zealand side is due to play in a Tri-series limited overs match on Sunday.

"I so desperately wanted to go to my fourth World Cup, but deep down inside I knew that I was lacking motivation and the enjoyment levels were just not there," Astle said in a statement.

The 35-year-old said he had been struggling for motivation since last year, but had "fudged" his feelings because he wanted to go to the World Cup in the Caribbean in March.

"Once I had made the decision that I would not be going to the World Cup, for the sake of the team, I needed to go as soon as possible to make way for another player."

Astle who made his Test debut in 1996, enjoys a reputation for being a hard hitting batsman.

He played 81 Tests, scoring 4,702 runs, including 11 centuries and 24 half centuries, at an average of 37.

In his 223 one day internationals he scored 7,090 runs, with 16 centuries and 41 half centuries, and an average of 35.

As a part-time medium-pace bowler Astle took 51 Test and 99 one day international wickets.

The player said he was still undecided about his future in domestic cricket, where he plays for Canterbury.

New Zealand coach John Bracewell said Astle would be missed.

"Statistically his record puts him into the position of greatness but probably the greatest loss will be his stability and influence inside the team," Bracewell said.

He holds the record for the fastest Test double-century, 153 balls against England in Christchurch in 2002.

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