Australia captain Finch calls time on one-day internationals
Cairns: Australian white-ball captain Aaron Finch called time on his one-day international career Saturday after a poor run of form but will remain skipper of the Twenty20 side for the World Cup at home next month.
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 format in which he has scored 5,401 runs at an average of 39.
His 17 centuries put him behind only greats Ricky Ponting (29), David Warner and Mark Waugh (both 18), and one clear of Adam Gilchrist.
He will remain captain of the T20 side he led to a maiden World Cup crown last year, and has seven more games to find form before their title defence starts against the Black Caps in Sydney on October 22.
“It has been a fantastic ride with some incredible memories,” said Finch, who has skippered the one-day side 54 times.
“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 aggressive opener has been in a form rut with the bat, scoring 5, 5, 1, 15, 0, 0, 0 in his last seven ODIs, and pressure had been mounting.
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”, but with a year to go, he said it was time “to give a new leader the best possible opportunity to prepare for and win the next World Cup”.
“I thank all of those who have helped and supported my journey to this point,” he added.
Test skipper Pat Cummins could be a candidate for new captain, along with Alex Carey, Steve Smith or even Mitchell Marsh, with their first ODI series after Finch departs coming against England at home immediately after the T20 World Cup.
Cricket Australia chief Nick Hockley paid tribute to Finch as “a wonderful exponent of the 50-over format”.
“Aaron is an enormously gifted and determined player whose outstanding deeds with the bat have been matched by his strong and inspiring leadership,” he said.
“His decision to step aside from the ODI captaincy now is typical of his selfless approach to the game.
“I’m delighted Aaron will lead the Australian team into the forthcoming T20 World Cup where his leadership, experience and tactical nous will be integral to the defence of our T20 World Cup title on home soil.”
Widely known as Finchy, he made his one-day debut against Sri Lanka in 2013 and soon became a mainstay at the top of the order, playing a key role in their 2015 ODI World Cup-winning side.