CAIRNS, Australia (AP) — Australia captain Aaron Finch says he's retiring from one-day international cricket effective Sunday after the team plays New Zealand in the third and final ODI.
A recent run of poor form has seen the 35-year-old Finch average just 3.7 runs, including three ducks, since scoring 62 runs against Sri Lanka in an ODI in June.
Cricket Australia said in a statement Saturday that Finch will continue to captain Australia's Twenty20 side and will lead it in defense of its world title when the T20 World Cup is played in October and November in Australia.
“It has been a fantastic ride with some incredible memories,” said Finch, who played 145 ODI matches, 54 as captain. “I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of some brilliant one-day sides.
“It is time now 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.”
One of the most damaging opening batters in the world when at his best, Finch has scored 5,401 runs in the ODI format and averaged close to 40, including 17 centuries. But he's failed to get past 20 in his last seven innings and his continuing place in the side was in doubt.
Finch’s decision leaves Australia searching for a new one-day captain ahead of next year’s World Cup in India. Australia test skipper Pat Cummins previously indicated he does not want to captain the ODI side.
“Being a bit over 12 months out from the 50-over World Cup, I thought the timing was right now,” Finch said at a later media conference. “I could have tried to play another series — the series against England post-World Cup — and that would have been a bit of a fairytale finishing at the MCG. But I think that’s never been my style to be self-indulgent in any kind of way.”
Australia has already clinched the three-match ODI series against New Zealand ahead of Sunday's final match in Cairns, north Queensland state, after winning the first two matches.
Veteran opener David Warner has been released from the squad ahead of Sunday’s match due to an upcoming heavy workload and Marcus Stoinis has been ruled out of the game with a low-level side strain. Nathan Ellis has joined the squad.
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