MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Aaron Finch has retired from all international cricket after leading Australia in a record 76 games as captain of the Twenty20 squad.
Finch guided Australia to its first T20 world championship in 2021 and was captain again last year in its unsuccessful title defense on home soil.
The 36-year-old top-order batter also won a Cricket World Cup title with Australia in the 50-over format at home in 2015 and played five test matches across an international career spanning 12 years.
“Realizing that I won’t be playing on until the next T20 World Cup in 2024, now is the right moment to step down and give the team time to plan and build towards that event,” Finch said in a news conference Tuesday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Fast bowler Pat Cummins became captain of Australia’s ODI team when Finch retired from the one-day format last October to focus on T20 cricket. Cricket Australia hasn’t announced a replacement for the T20 team.
Australia was dominant in the traditional one-day format, winning four of the last six World Cups, but wasn’t able to convert that into the T20 version of the game until Finch’s squad won an against-the-odds title in the United Arab Emirates in late 2021.
In all, Finch played 146 ODIs at an average of almost 39, and 103 T20 internationals at an average of 34.28 and a strike-rate of 142.53. He has twice held the record for highest score in a T20 international, posting 156 against England in 2013 and then setting the current mark of 172 against Zimbabwe at Harare in 2018.
Cricket Australia chairman Lachlan Henderson said Finch finished as one of Australia’s best limited-overs players.
“In full flight, there were few batters more powerful than Aaron, illustrated by the fact he holds two of the three highest ever scores in T20 International cricket,” Henderson said. “While he was a tough competitor on the field, Aaron always played the game with a smile on his face and in the right spirit.”