During last Saturday’s Super Smash final, New Zealand legspinner and Canterbury mainstay Todd Astle, 36, announced his retirement from professional cricket. Astle’s red-ball career had already come to an end in 2020, and for the previous two years, he had only played limited-overs cricket.
“I appreciate the memories. Thank you for the growth, learning, and experiences, “Instagram was updated by Astle. “I appreciate the struggle, the people, and of course the incredible adventure.
It’s time for me to retire as a player after 18 seasons, and I can’t help but be tremendously appreciative of everything you’ve taught me and given to me. The game is so rewarding since it has truly been a roller coaster ride with twists and turns along the way. I continue to love my craft and enjoy the game after finishing. What a privilege it has been to represent my beloved Canterbury and club OBC [Old Boys Collegians] as a Blackcap for New Zealand”
Astle won 11 wickets in as many games of his last tournament’s Super Smash while maintaining an excellent economy rate of 6.70. Astle led Canterbury’s assault while Henry Shipley and Ish Sodhi were away with the New Zealand team in India and Matt Henry was on the sidelines, but Canterbury ultimately lost their third straight Super Smash final. In the championship game at Christchurch, where Astle’s career began in 2005 while Gary Stead, the current head coach of New Zealand, was still playing for Canterbury, Astle recorded 1 for 30 in his four overs.
In addition to partnering with Stead to assist New Zealand reach the World Test Championship (WTC) final in 2021, Astle’s international accomplishments also include taking 3 for 33 on his 2017’s Whangarei ODI debut against the West Indies. Although he only participated in the warm-ups, he was a member of the New Zealand T20 team that advanced to its first-ever T20 World Cup final in the UAE in 2021.
Although only making a few appearances for New Zealand, Astle played more than 300 domestic games for Canterbury (19 over nine years). Astle leaves Canterbury as the team’s top first-class wicket-taker with 334 strikes despite having begun his Under-19 and domestic career as a batter.
Astle had opened the batting for New Zealand alongside Martin Guptill in the 2005–06 Under–19 World Cup in Sri Lanka, where he finished as the third-highest run-getter in the competition behind Indian Cheteshwar Pujara, who also announced his retirement this week, and Englishmen Eoin Morgan. Nonetheless, Astle’s career at Canterbury was completely changed by his transformation into a legspin bowling all-rounder.
Astle took Chris Martin’s place as a replacement when the fast bowler was called up to the New Zealand team in March 2010. Astle pulled up his first five-wicket haul on the fourth and final day, which helped spin Canterbury to victory in Queenstown. Astle began to take his bowling more seriously after that and was Canterbury’s leading wicket-taker in the Plunket Shield championships of 2010–11, 2013–14, and 2014–15. Under Fulton’s leadership throughout those seasons, Astle in particular flourished, and when Fulton was appointed head coach of Canterbury, he continued to deploy his wristspinner as an aggressive option.
Astle and Canterbury won the 50-over Ford Trophy despite failing to capture the domestic T20 championship. They haven’t won the competition since the first edition, which took place in 2005–2006. Astle had the chance to retire with the championship, but Northern Districts negated his chance to bid farewell on his home turf.
Astle is Canterbury’s second well-known player to have announced his retirement this year after Amy Satterthwaite.