10 May 2024

Big-hitting former Black Caps opener Colin Munro quits international cricket

12:37 pm on 10 May 2024
Blackcaps' Colin Munro celebrates 50 against Sri Lanka 2018.

Colin Munro still holds the record for the fastest half century by a New Zealand batter in T20 internationals. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The blazing opening batter Colin Munro has announced his retirement from international cricket, four years after he last played for the Black Caps.

Munro, 37, represented New Zealand in 65 T20Is, 57 ODIs and a single Test, scoring over 3000 international runs and taking seven wickets.

In recent years, he has become a cricketing troubadour, playing in many of the world's T20 competitions, but said it was only after missing selection for the World Cup next month that he accepted it was time to call it quits at international level.

"Although it has been a while since my last appearance, I never gave up hope that I might be able to return off the back of my franchise T20 form.

"With the announcement of the Black Caps squad for the T20 World Cup now is the perfect time to close that chapter officially."

He had been contacted by the New Zealand selectors about lining up for the T20 side for its tour of Pakistan last month, but he was unavailable and then missed out on World Cup selection.

Colin Munro playing for the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League.

Colin Munro has played for numerous T20 franchises around the world, including the Trinbago Knight Riders in the Caribbean Premier League. Photo: Photosport

Munro said he would continue to play white ball cricket around the world. His most recent outing was for Islamabad United in the Pakistan Super League, but he has played in a multitude of overseas competitions, including in the West Indies, India, Australia, England, UAE, India, and Canada.

The South African-born player is the Black Caps' sixth leading T20 international run scorer, with 1724 runs at an average of 31 and a strike-rate of 156.4, including three centuries, the most by any New Zealander.

Munro represented New Zealand at the 2006 ICC Under 19 World Cup in Sri Lanka before making his international debut in all three formats on the 2012-13 tour of South Africa.

He was a Black Caps regular in their T20 and ODI teams between 2016 and 2019 and featured at the 2014 and 2016 T20 World Cups and the 2019 ODI World Cup in England.

With his big-hitting approach, Munro gave the record books a shake-up.

His 47-ball century against West Indies at Bay Oval in 2018 was the fastest ever T20 century for New Zealand at the time, while a 14-ball half-century against Sri Lanka at Eden Park in 2016 is still the fastest T20 50 by a New Zealander and the fourth fastest of all-time.

"Playing for the Black Caps has always been the biggest achievement in my playing career," he said.

"I never felt prouder than donning that jersey, and the fact that I've been able to do that 123 times across all formats is something I will always be incredibly proud of."

Last year Munro expressed some bitterness that he only played one test.

His single test came against the Proteas in South Africa in 2013, with the Black Caps trounced by an innings and 193 runs.

Munro replaced an injured James Franklin in the side, making a golden duck in the first innings and 15 in the second.

He told ESPNCricinfo that he was badly underdone heading into the test after being asked to stay on tour as injury cover after the T20 series.

"I neglected my batting in the nets because I was just getting ready for the one-day series afterwards, so I didn't do a lot of red-ball preparation with the bat," Munro said.

He averaged over 50 in first class cricket - with 13 centuries and 15 half centuries.

"I honestly thought I deserved a spot," Munro told ESPNCricinfo.

"And not just because of my average but the weight of runs that I scored. At the time, you're very disappointed - and a little bit bitter - that you're not playing test cricket, because that's what you wanted to do."

He felt he may also have been hampered by then-captain Brendon McCullum batting in the middle order with the selectors not wanting two aggressive middle-order batters.

After McCullum retired in 2016 however he was at a loss to understand his non-selection.

He found himself looking at some of the players picked and thinking, "How did they get there?' I felt like I had to ask some tough questions to the management, and they just said that my method - the way that I played first-class cricket - wouldn't work at test level."

NZC chief executive Scott Weenink said Munro would be remembered as one of New Zealand's best multi-format batsman.

"He was one of the pioneers of the new game, an innovative batsman who took calculated risk-taking to a new level, and led what was to become a revolution in the way short-form cricket was played."