Zimbabwean legend Elton Chigumbura retires from international cricket

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(pic courtesy: ICC Twitter)

Harare: Former Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura who has decided to put down curtains on his career after the series against Pakistan, said on Monday (November 9) that he was quitting international cricket with a heavy heart because he had gotten tired of fighting injuries in the last five years.

“Though I never stopped trying in my 16-year international career, the time has come to make a decision. My decision to retire from cricket is governed by two factors — I have gotten tired of fighting injuries and I feel my timely retirement will help youngsters get in the team and gain experience for more important events to come,” he said.

The 34-year-old Chigumbura, a veteran of 213 ODIs and 14 Tests, had played his 57th T20I on Tuesday (November 10). The all-rounder said he was leaving cricket with a heavy heart but at the same time there was a smile on his face. “I know I have contributed to the best of my abilities for my country and for my team,” he said.

“What I will miss the most is cricket, my team and my efforts to make the best use of the opportunity. I am thankful to my parents, sisters and brothers, and my fans for trusting my abilities. I am thankful to Zimbabwe Cricket for believing in my abilities as captain and a teammate. Thank you all and I hope you will accompany me on my next journey.”

Chigumbura added that it was an honour for him to represent Zimbabwe. “You cannot please everyone when you lead the team but still I tried to turn negatives into positives to support talented youngsters,” he said.

He said he wanted to contribute to Zimbabwe’s cricket in the best possible way. “I want to help and guide our youngsters to sharpen their skills. So my services are always there for Zimbabwe Cricket,” Chigumbura said.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has congratulated Chigumbura for a successful career that saw him compete in all three formats over a period of 16 years.

ICC Chief executive Manu Sawhney said, “I congratulate Elton for an impressive career that saw him succeed across formats for a number of years. He was a fine ambassador of the game and came up with notable contributions with both bat and ball across formats.”

“I hope Elton will continue to be associated with the game after retirement and use his considerable experience to promote the game in his country and outside. On behalf of everyone at the ICC, I wish him all the best for whatever he decides to pursue in the coming years,” he added.

The fast bowling all-rounder scored 569 runs and took 21 wickets in 14 Tests but tasted more success in ODI cricket, amassing 4,340 runs and grabbing 101 wickets in 213 matches. He went into Tuesday’s T20I, the 57th and last of his career, with 891 runs and 16 wickets.

Chigumbura played in the World Cups of 2007, 2011 and 2015, the T20 World Cups of 2007, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016, as well as the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in 2004 and 2006. He led Zimbabwe in 62 ODIs and 18 T20Is.

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