Wellington, New Zealand: Fast bowler Chris Martin, who became New Zealand's third-highest wicket-taker in Tests but endeared himself as much to fans for his ineptitude with the bat, has retired from all forms of cricket at the age of 38.
Martin took 233 wickets in 71 matches over 13 years. His lack of batting ability and his awkwardness in the field meant he played only 20 ODI matches and six Twenty20 internationals in the same period.
Martin's inability with the bat became so proverbial fans cheered him whenever he survived a delivery and offered a standing ovation if he scored a run. While his 233 wickets placed him third among Kiwis behind Richard Hadlee with 431 and Dan Vettori with 360, he managed only 123 runs in 104 Test innings.
Martin worked hard to improve his batting, realizing that in modern cricket even the contribution of a No. 11 batsman might be vital. But he admitted he simply didn't have the knack to prosper at the batting crease.
Martin obtained his driver's license at a relatively late age and credited that with making a small improvement to his batting ability. Until then, he had ridden to training on a bicycle so he could not bring a bat and pads, therefore he rarely batted in the nets.
As a bowler he was much more effective and he carried a heavy load for New Zealand which often lacked a settled pace attack during his era. The lanky right-armer seldom blasted through opposing line-ups but was famously hard-working and able to bowl consistently in long spells.
He maintained a high level of physical fitness and, even at 38, is not retiring because of injuries.
"It feels like the right time to step down," he said. "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."