Image courtesy of: The Sydney Morning Herald
Sinclair will also forever be remembered for taking one of the greatest catches in cricket history
Former New Zealand batsman Matthew Sinclair has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket effective immediately.
Sinclair represented New Zealand in 33 Test matches, 54 ODIs and two Twenty20 Internationals, while also playing for Central Districts for 18 seasons.
Sinclair is Central District’s all-time leading run-scorer with over 15,000 runs across all three first-class formats, and he even excelled during last season’s Plunket Shield, scoring 646 runs at an average of 40.37.
The 37-year-old burst onto the international scene with a brilliant 214 on debut against the West Indies in 1999-2000, which till today is still the highest score by a New Zealand Test debutant.
It also places him at third on the all-time list for Test debutant scores from all countries.
However, despite scoring yet another double hundred against Pakistan just under two years later, Sinclair struggled to find any major form or consistency during his international career.
Sinclair’s last represented New Zealand in a Test match against Australia in Hamilton in early 2010.
“Having taken a few months since the end of last season to consider my options I have decided that the timing is right to call time on my playing career,” Sinclair said. “I have two young children and a wife who I want to spend more time with and the constant travel that the Stags endure each year makes that pretty tough.
“I am also at the stage where I want to get into a career outside of cricket and unless you are in a position to totally devote yourself, it’s difficult to get the opportunities that I am after. There are some really talented younger batsmen coming through for CD, so I feel it’s the right time from the team’s perspective as well.
“Central Districts has been good to me and I never really considered playing for anyone else. We have always played a positive style of game, and the quality of the people in the side meant that there was always a great team spirit. My first hundred for the Stags was really special as it helped win a game and proved that I could succeed at that level.
“Watching Peter Ingram beat my record for the highest individual score for the Stags, Jamie How’s double hundred in a one day game and Michael Mason’s heroics with the bat to win the Ford Trophy two seasons ago are special moments that I will also cherish.
“While it would have been nice to have played more for my country, I do look back on my time in the Black Caps with a lot of pride and satisfaction. Getting 214 on debut against the West Indies was a real highlight; especially as we went on to win the Test.”
Sinclair also scored a record 27 centuries for Central Districts, while also being the leading run-scorer in New Zealand’s first-class competition on four different occasions, in 1998-99, 2005-06, 2008-09 and 2011-12.
“It’s hard to put into words the contribution that Mathew has made to Central Districts,” Hugh Henderson, the Central Districts chief executive, said. “In years to come his run scoring records will still stand and people will look back at him as an all-time great of the domestic game in this country.
“It is remarkable that in a career of such length that Mathew never really had a poor season, he just kept scoring runs. It’s unlikely there will be another player like him in our history. On behalf of Central Districts we would like to thank him wholeheartedly for his contribution to the game and our association. We wish him all the best in the next stages of his career outside of cricket.”