'Time was right to retire', says Lou Vincent

BEN STANLEY
Last updated 05:00 20/02/2013
Lou Vincent

CALLING IT A DAY: Lou Vincent has retired from all forms of cricket.

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Former Black Caps opener Lou Vincent has admitted a lack of passion led him to finally pulling stumps on a long, and colourful cricketing career this week.

Vincent, 34, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on social networking website Twitter yesterday.

The decision comes half-way through Auckland's domestic season, with Vincent playing Twenty20 and four-day cricket for his province earlier this summer.

Yet after returning from an eight-game stint with the Khulna Royal Bengals in the Bangladeshi Premier League recently, Vincent decided that his heart was no longer in the game.

"I had a taste of retirement when I finished playing for New Zealand [in 2007]. That was the right decision then to get away," he told Fairfax Media yesterday.

"This time round - you just look at it and you go, what is actually keeping me here? Why am I doing this?

"It's time. You hear players say you know when it's time to step out of it, and it's so true. I've got no passion to want to play anymore and I want to do other things in life now.

"I want to release that tension of hanging on to something that I don't generally want. My heart doesn't want it."

Vincent, who played 23 tests, 102 one-dayers and nine Twenty20s for the Black Caps between 2001 and 2007, has been one of the true characters in New Zealand Cricket over the last decade.

A high-energy fielder, he often showed flashes of true class with the bat in hand, both at domestic and international level.

His 171 off 120 balls against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 2007 remains New Zealand's highest one-day score, while his 224 against Sri Lanka in Wellington in 2005 is the nation's ninth highest test score.

Vincent's century on test debut against Australia in Perth in 2001 is another innings that will long stick in the memory of Kiwi cricket fans.

Yet his career has been derailed by battles with depression, meaning his time in international cricket would be limited as he fought his inner demons.

Auckland captain Gareth Hopkins encouraged Vincent to return to play for Auckland this summer after spending last winter in England, and he is glad he had the opportunity to make sure he "wouldn't have any regrets."

"I gave it a crack and it's time to move on," he said.

"I've played for my country and made a lot of good friends around the world because of cricket. The person I am today is because of all those experiences, good and bad. It's got to me to a point where I'm a more complete human being now."

Vincent said his initial plan is to put his feet up at his Kaukapakapa property north of Auckland, but has some "exciting" projects he plans to get his teeth into soon.

LOU VINCENT

Age: 34
Province: Auckland
Test matches: 23 (2001-2007)
Test runs: 1332 runs at 34.15
Test high score: 224 vs Sri Lanka in Wellington, April 2005

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- Fairfax Media

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