File image of Aaron Finch (AP Photo)CAIRNS (Australia): Australian limited-overs captain Aaron Finch announced his unexpected retirement from one-day cricket Saturday after a lean run with the bat, saying it was time to hand over the baton.
The 35-year-old will play his 146th and final ODI on Sunday in Cairns against New Zealand, capping an outstanding career in the 50-over game in which he has scored 5,401 runs.
His 17 centuries put him behind only greats Ricky Ponting (29), David Warner and Mark Waugh (both 18).
Finch will remain captain of the Twenty20 side preparing to defend its World Cup title on home soil next month.
"It has been a fantastic ride with some incredible memories," said Finch, who has skippered the one-day side 54 times.
⭐️ 145 ODIs ⭐️ 5401 runs⭐️ 17 centuries⭐️ 2020 Aus men’s ODI Player of the Year⭐️ 2015 World Cup winner https://t.co/60KYlfwhMq
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) 1662766989000
"I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of some brilliant one-day sides. Equally, I have been blessed by all those I have played with and the many people behind the scenes."
While no one questioned his outstanding captaincy, the opener has been in a form rut with the bat, scoring 5, 5, 1, 15, 0, 0, 0 in his last seven ODIs with pressure building in the media.
Despite this, he had been expected to lead the team to the 2023 ODI World Cup in India. Finch stated in 2020 that being in charge for that tournament was his "ultimate goal".
"It is time now to give a new leader the best possible opportunity to prepare for and win the next World Cup," he said.
"I thank all of those who have helped and supported my journey to this point."