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Ronchi retires from international cricket

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/06/2017

Luke Ronchi says he will remember his stint with the Black Caps as a career highlight, after announcing his retirement from international cricket.

The 36-year-old, who represented Australia earlier in his career, says the time is right to focus on his family.

It ends a career which featured four Test appearances and 117 limited overs internationals.

Born in Dannevirke but raised in Western Australia, his first international matches were in green and gold in 2008-09 before resurrecting his international career with New Zealand four years later.

The hard-hitting wicketkeeper plans to continue playing on the Twenty20 circuit around the world and, selection-permitting, for Wellington.

Ronchi's most memorable knock was his 170 off just 99 balls in an ODI against Sri Lanka in Dunedin.

Later in 2015 he achieved a lifelong goal by making his Test debut, scoring 88 and 31 to help New Zealand beat England in Leeds.

The presence of BJ Watling prevented Ronchi from forging a regular Test spot.

Known for his aerial hitting down the ground in particular, Ronchi averaged 23.67 in ODIs at a strike-rate of 114.50, and 18.89 in T20Is at a strike-rate of 141.33.

He said he was privileged to be part of the New Zealand team at a time when they were ranking highly in all three formats.

"I can't think of a better time to have been involved with New Zealand cricket," he said.

"From the 2015 World Cup campaign, through to the overseas tours of that time and some amazing games and series, it's been a genuine highlight for me".

Coach Mike Hesson paid tribute to Ronchi, describing him as the epitome of a professional athlete.

"We'll remember Luke fondly for the energy he created in the field and his selfless attitude towards the team," Hesson said.

"He was always prepared to play a role for the greater good of the team; to do what was required even if that risked sacrificing his wicket.

"Luke was one of the best glovemen going around and I think that's often overlooked in a game increasingly dominated by batting and run-scoring."

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