Saying farewell to NZ cricket's Mr Consistent

23:00, Jul 03 2013
Chris Martin gallery
Chris Martin in action for Auckland against Wellington at the Basin Reserve earlier this year.
Chris Martin gallery
Chris Martin bowls a bouncer to Pakistan's Azhar Ali during the first test at Seddon park in Hamilton on 2011.
Chris Martin gallery
Chris Martin evades a short a ball against Pakistan in the second test at the Basin Reserve in 2011.
Chris Martin gallery
Chris Martin and team-mates celebrate the wicket of Ryan Sidebotton in the Black Caps test win over England at Seddon Park in Hamilton in 2008.
Chris Martin gallery
Celebrating the wicket of the West Indies' Dwayne Smith at Eden Park in 2006.
Chris Martin gallery
Bowling the Black Caps to victory against South Africa at Eden Park in 2004.
Chris Martin gallery
Bowling against Sri Lanka in an ODI in Napier in 2001.
Chris Martin gallery
In action for Canterbury in 2001.

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.