Nathan McCullum to quit international cricket at end of NZ season

Nathan McCullum: “I don’t want to make a big song and dance about it, but it’s time to start thinking about the next phase of my life.” © AFP

Nathan McCullum, 35, has said that he will retire from international cricket at the end of this New Zealand season to spend more time with his family.

“I don’t want to make a big song and dance about it, but it’s time to start thinking about the next phase of my life,” McCullum told the New Zealand Herald. “I’ve got the sense that the end of this season is the right time to call it quits in international cricket.”

The offspinner had a meeting with New Zealand coach Mike Hesson and manager Mike Sandle, and will help mentor young spinners such as Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner over the remainder of his playing career. “We’ve got to get these guys up to speed and I’m looking forward to playing a mentoring role there.”

He said he was also keen to be able to devote more attention to his wife and three young children. “It’s been hard work for Vanessa in the past five years,” McCullum said. “She’s spent a lot of it pregnant and has had to do it on her own most of the time. It’s time for me to start investing time in my family and being there for dinners and helping the boys with their homework.”

McCullum made his T20I debut in 2007 against South Africa while his ODI debut came in 2009 against Sri Lanka. Till date, he has taken 63 wickets from 84 ODIs at an average of 46.92 and an economy-rate of 5.01. In T20Is, he has 55 wickets from 61 games at an economy of 6.9. He has also struck four fifties and has a batting average of 20.98 in ODIs.

McCullum said the 2011 World Cup quarter-final win over South Africa was “special.” He took 3 for 24 from ten overs as New Zealand defended 221 by 49 runs. “To come back and win a match we shouldn’t have won was pretty special.”

He had words of praise for his younger brother and captain Brendon. “Every now and then it’s hard case when your little brother is barking orders at you… but he deserves everything he gets in terms of praise. He’s worked his butt off and created this team along with Hess and Mike Sandle.”

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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