28 Jan 2020

Astle calls time on red ball cricket

11:32 am on 28 January 2020

Canterbury leg-spinner Todd Astle is giving up test cricket to concentrate on the shorter formats of the game.

Leg spinner Todd Astle has edged out Ajaz Patel from the Black Caps test side.

Todd Astle Photo: Photosport

Astle, 33, had a Test career spanning eights years, but played just five tests.

He made his debut against Sri Lanka in late 2012 and played his fifth and final test against Australia in Sydney earlier this month.

"Playing Test cricket was always the dream and I'm so honoured to have represented my country and province in the longest form of the game," Astle said.

"Red-ball cricket is the pinnacle, but also requires a huge amount of time and effort. As I've got to the back end of my career I've found it harder to maintain the level of commitment required to be fully invested in this version of the game."

Astle played in only the third Test in the recent series in Australia which the Black Caps lost 3-nil, but went into the game with a lack of match play not having played a first class game in almost two months.

He appeared to struggle to gain the confidence of New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, who generally seemed reluctant to pick him.

Astle has played nine One Day Internationals and three Twenty20s for New Zealand.

He finishes as the top first-class wicket-taker for Canterbury with 303 wickets.

New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen congratulated Todd on his long-form career.

"To prepare and play four-day cricket at such a level for the best part of 15 seasons is a credit to him and his perseverance," said Larsen.

"He wants to get the most out of himself at this stage of his career and spend more time with his family, and those are admirable reasons."