Australian T20 captain Aaron Finch is set to announce his retirement from international cricket.
The 36-year-old has called a press conference for 10.30am on Tuesday when he’s expected to end a stunning career that yielded more than 8500 runs across all three forms of the game.
Finch played 103 T20 matches to go with 146 ODIs and his five Tests since his international debut in a T20 match against England in 2011.
Finch celebrates a big score in Australia’s win over Sri Lanka at the 2021 T20 World Cup as he led Australia to a breakthrough title
The aggressive batter and wife Amy stepped out at last month’s Australian Cricket Awards
Finch, who hails from country Victoria, is one of Australia’s best-ever limited overs players, and will go down as one of – if not the – best T20 opening batters of all-time.
His 19 international centuries and 51 half-centuries across the three formats underpin his individual brilliance.
But no doubt the highlight of his career was captaining Australia in both ODIs and T20s, leading the country to its breakthrough T20 World Cup triumph in 2021 when the side was heavy underdogs.
Aaron Finch shakes the hand of a smiling Queen Elizabeth II prior to the 2019 ODI World Cup in England
The affable, softly-spoken opener was also part of Australia’s ODI World Cup win in 2015.
Finch retired from ODI cricket after a series against New Zealand last September before leading Australia in its unsuccessful T20 World Cup defence on home soil, for which the team was widely criticised and the skipper said the team was ‘tired’.
The big-hitting opener told Cricket.com.au that he wanted to test himself in the Big Bash League before making a decision and his body told him that his time was up.
‘I always wanted to get through the Big Bash and re-assess after that, and I found my body was sore after a BBL game and took a couple of days to recover,’ he said.
‘He (Australian coach Andrew McDonald) said give yourself time to make a decision that’s not an emotional call, but one that’s right for you and your family.
‘I feel as though that’s what I’ve done.
‘I thought long and hard about it, but with a big break between games it gives everyone involved time to plan and prepare for the next T20 World Cup in 2024 (in the West Indies and USA) because I can’t see myself getting there at all.
‘It would be doing the position and the team a disservice to play on for purely selfish reasons.
‘I’ve been bloody fortunate to play for 12 years, and I think the team’s in a really good spot now for me to move on.’
Finch said there were plenty of contenders to become the next Australia T20 captain.
‘Obviously Steve Smith has done it before and done a great job, Pat Cummins, I doubt whether he would want to do it with such a big workload; he said.
‘But there’s guys from the outside who could come in and have a big impact.
‘Travis Head, Ashton Turner, these types of guys are experienced, they know how to win as well, so whichever way they (selectors) go, the team is in great hands.’
After making his international debut at 24, Finch has been one of the most consistent batters for Australia over the last decade – but unfortunately in recent years he has been seen by many to be extremely lucky to have remained in the team.
But the Aaron Finch story will still be a fairytale.
Aaron Finch with his daughter Esther after a match for the Renegades during the recently finished Big Bash
The thick-set opener averaged in the teens for three consecutive seasons for Victoria in Sheffield Shield cricket, and was destined to remain in the game’s lower echelons – but then came along T20 cricket.
Aussie selector John Inverarity took a punt on Finch in 2013 after seeing something in him he liked, and the Victorian responded with gusto, smashing 156 off 63 balls.
At the time it was the highest score made in a T20 International, before Finch broke his own record by hitting an astonishing 172 off 76 against Zimbabwe in 2018.
While his international form strongly waned towards the end of his glittering career, Finch is expected to continue playing on the domestic T20 circuit after a strong season for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash, selected in the team of the tournament for his 428 runs.
Aaron Finch’s international career
5 matches, 278 runs @ 27.80, two 50s, zero 100s. HS: 62.
146 matches, 5406 runs @ 38.89, 30 50s, 17 100s. HS: 153*.
103 matches, 3120 @ 34.28, 19 50s, two 100s. HS: 172.
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