Fleming to quit Tests after England series

Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming is retiring from international cricket at the end of next month’s home Test series against England, he told a news conference in Auckland on Thursday.

The 34-year-old quit one-day internationals after last year’s World Cup and is now giving up Tests to focus on his family and business interests.

”I always indicated that I was likely to retire from international cricket at some point in the near future and the time is right for me and my family to do that now,” Fleming said.

”Retiring before the [return] tour to England [later this year] will allow me to be with [wife] Kelly for the birth of our second child and I’m excited about pursuing new business opportunities.”

Fleming is New Zealand’s most capped player and leading run scorer in both Tests and one-day cricket. He is also his country’s most successful captain.

He skippered the side for more than a decade and led them to Test series wins over India, England, West Indies, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.

He also led the Black Caps to victory in the 2000 Champions Trophy in Kenya and to the World Cup semifinals in 1999 and 2007.

A stylish left-hander, Fleming has played a record 108 Tests since making his debut in 1994 and captained his country on 80 occasions, winning 28 times.

He scored 6 785 runs at an average of 39,73, featuring nine centuries and a highest score of 274 not out, against Sri Lanka. He lost the captaincy to Daniel Vettori last year.

Fleming also played 280 one-day internationals, compiling 8 037 runs and a high score of 134 not out against South Africa at the 2003 World Cup.

Fleming said he planned to start up a new career but, like many international players who have recently retired, also intends to play in the lucrative Twenty20 Indian Premier League, starting this year.

”A key business opportunity I will be pursuing is the establishment of a marketing media and sports management business here in New Zealand,” he said.

”I will also be taking up the option of playing in the Indian Premier League.” — Reuters

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