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New Zealand pacer Hamish Bennett announces retirement from all forms of cricket

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Christchurch, April 12 (IANS) New Zealand fast bowler Hamish Bennett on Tuesday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, ending his 17-year-old professional career, stating that the 2021-22 season would be his last.

The 35-year-old Bennett has made 31 appearances for New Zealand across all three formats and took 43 wickets and most recently he featured in the T20Is versus Bangladesh last September.

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Bennett made his international debut for the Black Caps in an ODI against Bangladesh in 2010 and made his lone Test appearance a month later against India in Ahmedabad.

The pacer was picked for the 2011 World Cup but was sidelined thereafter with a lower-back injury which eventually required him to undergo a major surgery the following year. The injury may have curtailed his New Zealand career, he remained a key member of Canterbury and Wellington sides, the latter being the domestic side he switched to in 2016.

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“When I started out as a young kid bowling in the nets in Timaru, I never dreamed I would have gone on to enjoy the career that I’ve had,” Bennett said in a statement issued by New Zealand Cricket (NZC).

“From Old Boys Timaru Cricket Club, who got me involved in cricket at the start, Timaru Boys’ High School, South Canterbury Cricket, Canterbury Cricket, Cricket Wellington, and New Zealand Cricket, as well as all the other great clubs I’ve played for down the years, they’ve all played a role in helping me achieve my cricket dream,” he added.

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Overall, Bennett made 265 domestic appearances since his debut in 2005, amassing 489 wickets. In that time, he won 12 domestic titles including five Plunket Shields, two Ford Trophy titles, four men’s Super Smash titles and a women’s Super Smash title as Wellington Blaze’s bowling coach.

“I’ve been so fortunate to work and play alongside so many great players, captains and coaches and I’d like to thank every one of them for their support over the years. It’s been an honour to represent my family and my country for New Zealand and those memories and experiences will be ones that I cherish and tell stories about for the rest of my life,” the pacer said.

–IANS

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