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New Zealand women's cricket stalwart Katey Martin announces retirement at 37

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Auckland, May 18 (Ajitweekly News) New Zealand women’s cricket team wicketkeeper-batter Katey Martin, who played nearly 200 international matches for the White Ferns, announced her retirement on Wednesday.

The 37-year-old’s nearly two-decade-long international career placed her as the longest serving player in the group, having made her debut for the national side in November 2003.

Martin has the second-most T20I dismissals for the New Zealand women’s team at 51, and the third-most (75) across ODIs. Martin’s 169 domestic one-day matches is a record in New Zealand for both men and women, and she claimed the most dismissals (171) during her time behind the stumps, according to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

A key figure in New Zealand’s cricket all the way up until the end of her team’s ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup campaign at home earlier this year, Martin thanked everyone who had been on the journey with her.

“To all my team-mates, coaches, opposition, fans and friends I’ve met along the way, I want to thank you for making my time in cricket so memorable,” she said. “I also want to thank New Zealand Cricket, the New Zealand Cricket Players Association and Otago Cricket for their support over my entire career.

“Cricket really has given me my life — from leaving Dunedin as a youngster to attend the NZC Academy in Christchurch, to travelling the world as a White Fern and representing my country — it’s been a dream come true. It’s been an incredible experience.”

After her final appearance for New Zealand in Christchurch against Pakistan at the World Cup, Martin cut an emotional figure when embracing her family. “I’ve been fortunate to have a very supportive family throughout my time,” she added.

“Dad travelled to India for my debut in 2003 and has made his presence known around the boundary ropes ever since. “Both mum and dad took a campervan around the North Island for the recent Women’s World Cup — to say I’ve been lucky to have them on this journey with me is an understatement,” she was quoted as saying by ICC.

Martin said she spent time after the tournament to discuss her retirement plans and “solidify” her decision, though Martin, who has already made the transition into commentary, will continue to be around the game, both calling and trying her hand at developing the next crop of keeping talent.

“I’m passionate about leaving the game in a better place and would be very keen to help coach and develop our next generation of keepers. It’s definitely somewhere I feel I can give back to a game that has given me so much,” Martin said.

Bob Carter, her international coach during the last World Cup, said, “The White Ferns environment is richer for having her around,” Carter said. “She brought energy, excitement and fun to the group and her presence will be missed.”

–Ajitweekly News

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