Veteran Black Caps fast bowler Chris Martin has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
The 38 year old played 71 tests, 20 one-day internationals and six international Twenty20s for New Zealand after making his test debut against South Africa in 2000.
He retires as New Zealand's third highest test wicket-taker behind Sir Richard Hadlee and Daniel Vettori with 233 dismissals.
"It feels like the right time to step down. I have loved every second and given it everything when playing for the Black Caps, but after 15 years of professional cricket, it's time to pursue a new challenge," Martin said.
"I want to thank my family, all those at New Zealand Cricket, Auckland Cricket and Canterbury Cricket for their help and support over the years."
Martin played his last test match against South Africa in Bloemfoentain in January this year.
In 2009 he assumed the mantle of leader of the attack for the Black Caps after Shane Bond's retirement and was an automatic selection in the test team.
However, the emergence of young fast bowlers Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell and Neil Wagner on the test scene made that less of a certainty and he failed to make the squad for the recently-completed tour of England.
The right-armer hails from Christchurch and played for Canterbury before shifting to Auckland in the summer of 2005/06.
He appeared sporadically for the Black Caps in the shorter formats, but came to be viewed as a five-day specialist.
"Wearing the silver fern has brought me a huge amount of pride and will be something I'll always cherish," he said.
In 2008, Martin was ranked as the 10th best test bowler in the world. He finished his international career ranked number 19.
He received the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal at the 2011 New Zealand Cricket Awards, an award given to the country's top performer of the year.
One of Martin's most memorable performances came in 2004 when he collected match figures of 11/180 and led New Zealand to a rare test victory over South Africa.
He was also a part of the New Zealand's historic test win over Australia in Hobart 2012.
Black Caps coach Mike Hesson paid tribute to the qualities Martin brought to the side.
"The way Chris goes about his business both on and off the field has made him one of the most respected players in the changing room,'' Hesson said.
''With over 200 test wickets his stats speak for themselves, but his knowledge and experience make his presence in the group so important.
For all his succcess with the ball Martin's inept batting could sometimes draw as much attention.
In 104 test innings he scored just 123 runs at an average of 2.36 with a highest score of 12 not out.
He failed to get off the mark on 64 occasions, a world record that includes 36 ducks.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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