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Nathan Astle retires from international cricket

Nathan Astle retires from international cricket

New Zealand batsman Nathan Astle retired from international cricket Friday, ending a 12-year career of 81 tests and 223 one-day internationals.
Astle, 35, announced his retirement at a news conference in Perth, in the middle of a limited-overs tri-series involving New Zealand, Australia and England and only weeks out from his fourth World Cup.
The right-hander, who supplemented his batting by bowling deceptive medium pace, said he reached his decision to retire after New Zealand's tri-series match against England at Adelaide on Tuesday.
He made scores of 45, 0, 0 and 1 in New Zealand's tri-series matches and said his motivation and enjoyment were lacking.
"It's been something I've been fighting with for about the last eight months," Astle said. "I was very close to not coming here but I really wanted to give it one last crack and see if I could find that.
"At this level you've got to have that motivation and for me the enjoyment side is huge, and it's not there any more."
Astle scored 16 centuries in limited-overs internationals, a record for New Zealand, and 7,090 runs at an average of 34.92. Only Stephen Fleming has scored more one-day runs for New Zealand and only two New Zealand players, Fleming and Chris Harris, have played more one-day internationals.
Astle scored 4,702 runs in tests, including 11 centuries, at an average of 37.02 and took 99 wickets. He was poised to become the 13th New Zealander to take 100 wickets in tests.
New Zealand coach John Bracewell dropped Astle from his national squad last season as he struggled for form and has often defended his form since his recall. He said Astle's retirement decision was unexpected.
"It was a bit of a shock to all of us and quite disruptive to our plans but I respect his decision," Bracewell said.
Astle's retirement announcement coincided with the arrival in Perth of New Zealand Cricket chief executive Martin Snedden, who decided to join the national team after strong criticism of its recent performances.
New Zealand has won only one tri-series match, against England, as has been plagued by a series of top-order batting failures. New Zealand plays Australia on Sunday in Perth.