Fulton admits Black Caps days 'probably' over
Peter Fulton saw his axing coming and does not expect to ever play cricket for New Zealand again.
He played what he believes is ''probably'' his last cricket test against the West Indies in Jamaica last month before being dropped for the last two tests then overlooked when the 20 national contracts were given out last week.
His fall from grace started before that though, with a lack of runs.
Fulton, 35, had failed to pass 13 in his previous 10 test innings and since scoring 136 and 110 against England in March last year, had passed 50 just three times in 18 times at the crease.
''I'm obviously disappointed not to get a contract, but I had plenty of opportunities,'' he said.
''I had plenty of opportunities and I didn't take them. That's what it comes down to.
''When I look back, I had those two tests against India and the first one against the West Indies. If I'd scored then, then we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.''
Coach Mike Hesson told Fulton at the end of the Caribbean tour he was unlikely to receive a national contract.
He then received the official word from national selection manager Bruce Edgar.
Fulton said the conversation was a short one with little feedback.
''I didn't ask too much and he didn't say too much. They're not nice conversations and to be honest, once you get the news, you just want the conversation to end and I'm sure they're not phone calls those guys like making.''
Fulton expects the first test in the Caribbean and his 23th, would be his last.
''When you're closer to the end of your career than the start and you run out of chances, that's not a good thing. Reading between the lines, I think that's probably it for me, but you never say never.''
Fulton is not part of the New Zealand A tour, which includes Latham, Fulton's fellow-dumped opener Hamish Rutherford, and other possible partners for Latham, Michael Bracewell and Dean Brownlie.
Fulton hopes to continue leading Canterbury and has no immediate plans to retire.
That's probably a good thing for his Canterbury side, who have lost Brownlie (ND), Rob Nicol and Brad Cachopa (both Auckland), George Worker (CD) and Shanan Stewart (retired) and are unlikely to see much of Tom Latham because of national commitments after he cemented himself as the No 1 test opener.
''I'm a bit lucky, too,'' Fulton said, ''because playing for Canterbury has never been a chore for me, it's never felt like a step down from international cricket and I've always enjoyed it equally.''
He is expected to pick up the No 1 Canterbury contract when they are announced next Friday.
- The Press