New Zealand’s Todd Astle Steps Back From Red-ball Cricket

New Zealand spinner Todd Astle has decided to step back from long-form cricket and has made himself unavailable for the upcoming New Zealand A First-Class series against India A in Christchurch.

Astle, who made his Test debut in 2012, has only played five Tests over the course of eight years. He last played earlier this month against Australia in Sydney. In the five matches, he picked up seven wickets at 52.57 and scored 98 runs at 19.60.

The 33-year-old said he’d given the decision a lot of thought and felt it was time to move forward with a white-ball focus.

“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 in an official statement published on the Canterbury Cricket website.

“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.

“I’m really proud of what I’ve been able to achieve with Canterbury and the Black Caps. To have the opportunity to play a Test against Australia at the SCG was an experience I’ll always cherish.

“I’m excited to now focus all my energy into the white-ball formats, as well as give more time to my young family and new business,” he added.

Astle has had a successful first-class career. Since his first-class debut in 2005, he has played 119 matches, scoring over 4000 runs and picking up 334 wickets at an average of 32.17. He is also Canterbury’s highest first-class wicket-taker with 303 scalps.

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