Australia’s white-ball skipper Aaron Finch has decided to retire from the One Day Internationals after the conclusion of the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand.
He will lead the team for one last time on Sunday in the third and the final ODI in Cairns before drawing curtains on his career in the format. However, he will remain captain of the T20 team which is preparing to defend the World Cup title on home soil next month.
Finch’s shocking decision comes after an underwhelming run of scores in ODIs this season. He has managed to muster just 26 runs in his last seven innings.
His original plan was to lead the Aussies to the 2023 ODI World Cup in India. In fact, back in 2020, he termed it as his ‘ultimate goal’ after taking up the post of Australia’s ODI captain.
But Finch, in an official statement released on Saturday morning, said it was now time to give a new leader the best possible opportunity to prepare for and win the next ODI World Cup.
“It has been a fantastic ride with some incredible memories. 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. I thank all of those who have helped and supported my journey to this point,” Finch said.
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.
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. His decision to step aside from the ODI captaincy now is typical of his selfless approach to the game,” Hockley said.
“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,” he added.
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. (News 18)