OPINION: It is a shame that Chris Martin's cult status as cricket's ultimate batting bunny often overshadowed his bowling, because he has been one of the few consistent things about the game in New Zealand in the past decade.
After announcing his retirement at 38, Martin finishes as this country's third highest test wicket-taker of all time on 233, behind our two bowling greats - Sir Richard Hadlee and Daniel Vettori - and ahead of more acclaimed players like Chris Cairns, Ewen Chatfield and Dion Nash.
Few would have predicted that when he emerged on the international scene as a raw and skinny fast bowler in 2000.
That he achieved it is down to wholeheartedness, consistency, hard work and that rarest of qualities in a Kiwi quick - the ability to stay injury-free.
Martin made the most of his talents - something not all of his team-mates from the past dozen years can claim to have done.
In that sense he embodies the best aspects of New Zealand cricket - a player maximising limited talents to compete with the best on the world stage.
He never quite got the accolades he deserved during his career and by retiring with little fanfare in the middle of the rugby season, Martin misses out on a farewell befitting his long service to the New Zealand game.
But he should be remembered as one the best New Zealand test cricketers of recent years and certainly as one of the gutsiest.
- © Fairfax NZ News