Australia news February 16, 2012

Luke Ronchi to pursue New Zealand career

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Western Australian wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi will pursue a career in New Zealand in a bid to win a place in their national side. Ronchi has told his Western Australia team-mates of his decision and he will finish his commitments with the Warriors this summer before heading to New Zealand next season.

Ronchi, 30, played four one-day internationals and three Twenty20s for Australia in 2008 and 2009 when he was second in line to Brad Haddin, but he lost his place in the state side towards the end of 2008-09. He has struggled to hold down his Sheffield Shield spot since then, although he has made two Ryobi Cup hundreds this season.

In the national setup, Ronchi has been overtaken by Matthew Wade and Tim Paine, and probably others like Peter Nevill, and his chances of further games for Australia were slim. Ronchi will qualify to play for New Zealand having been born there, although his family moved to Perth when he was six years old.

Under the ICC's qualification rules, Ronchi will be eligible to play for New Zealand next January, having last played for Australia in January 2009. The ICC condition states: "Where a male player is seeking to qualify to play for a Full Member, he must not have participated in an international match for any other Full Member during the immediately preceding four years."

Ronchi may yet be able to play for the Perth Scorchers squad at the Champions League Twenty20 later this year as the tournament will be held before New Zealand's domestic season begins. Ronchi said he knew the move was a risk but he felt it was his best chance to play international cricket again.

"I am heading across the Tasman with no guarantees but at 30 years of age I feel that I still have a lot to offer at the very highest level and I am looking forward to making the move with my family," Ronchi said. "I have been around so many outstanding players, coaches and administration staff in my time at the WACA and I can't thank them enough for the support they have provided to me over the past decade."

Ronchi has chosen a good time to push his case, with New Zealand having sifted through five wicketkeepers in all formats over the past two years. Gareth Hopkins and Reece Young have both been tried and discarded, while Brendon McCullum no longer takes the gloves in Test cricket.

BJ Watling was behind the stumps in New Zealand's last Test, while the South African-born gloveman Kruger van Wyk was also in the squad for the Test against Zimbabwe. But Ronchi will need to prove himself in New Zealand's domestic cricket before he will be considered for higher duties, and having not scored a first-class century since 2009-10, his chances might be more likely in limited-overs cricket.

A powerful striker, Ronchi scored what was then the fastest century in Australian domestic one-day history in 2006-07 when he reached triple figures in 56 balls against New South Wales. In a first-class game the following summer he struck a 51-ball ton against Queensland, his second fifty coming in a remarkable 11 deliveries, and his 22-ball fifty in St Kitts in 2008 was then the equal third-fastest half-century by an Australian in an ODI.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY merrallt on | February 17, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    Great for nz cricket to have Luke and wellington will welcome hime. He will not just walk into the national side though as we have some class keepers at the moment in watling, latham, van wylk and de booder. Also Mc Cullum in the shorter form. It will be great competition for these guys and can only make nz cricket stronger. Any more Kiwis in living aussie who qualify? I bet!

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2012, 4:22 GMT

    Why didn't he move sooner, he'd of had a better chance in terms of his age. I was obvious that he wasn't going to be a full time player for Australia. Had he been playing 1st Class Cricket in NZ for the last couple of years I would have thought it would have served him better. Anyway, good luck to him. NZ still won't beat us on a regular basis.

  • POSTED BY SladeR on | February 17, 2012, 3:05 GMT

    With Watling, Derek de Boorder, even Tom Latham, New Zealand is well served for future test wicketkeeper batsmen, which is the only area NZ could be considered to be looking for a wicketkeeper/batsman. McCullum will continue to serve in the T20 and 1day scene. By the time he qualifies Ronchi will be 32, I don't see the point of a discarded Australian heading to NZ. He's certainly not the future of NZ cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    As an Aussie, I admit the current selection climate isn't giving him many opportunities, I'd love to see New Zealand succeed at a higher level internationally (just not against us!) and I hope they welcome Ronchi on-board as he's a fantastic player. The Kiwis need a talented gloveman right now.

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    Good luck too him, Luke is a very good player who has been quite unlucky. But I think he is probably going to be a very good choice for New Zealand should they go with him, because his glove work is excellent and is batting can be very destructive. At the very least he will get his chance at Test cricket and I hope he does well for New Zealand. Ronchi was the player I thought might have gotten the nod over Haddin after Gilly retired if his form had continued, but a lack of form has cost him that chance in Australia, and opened the door for Paine and Wade and probably others. Good luck Luke, all the best.

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | February 16, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    Lucky New Zealand I say! Good luck Luke. A very good player, and an outstanding keeper, one of the best in Aus. Watch Big Bash highlights to see his class as a batsman and keeper.

  • POSTED BY gothetaniwha on | February 16, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    I see no problem , good player , i,m sure there is more NZ born AUS raised cricketers who must be thinking the same way esp after the sucess Browlie has had . Don,t know about going to Wellington who need a decent keeper but have been one of the bottom teams in NZ for the last 5 years, should have a go at bumping Hopkins out of the Auckland team .

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | February 16, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    NZ should realise the outstanding quality that they have been gifted here. ronchi was the next gilchrist at one stage

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | February 16, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    holy moly i never even realised this! as a nz born warriors supporter i say goodluck to him and im pretty sure this is a brilliant and amazing thing for nz cricket, surely he will be their keeper batsman for now on in all forms. his form has been great as well let alont his career of being just behind glichrist and haddin and now wade and paine. with ronchi, NZ have probably a top 3 keeper/batsman in world cricket

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    If the Kiwi selectors have any sense, they'll stick him straight in. This is a guy with a strike rate of 205 in ODIs & 174 in international T20s.

  • POSTED BY merrallt on | February 17, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    Great for nz cricket to have Luke and wellington will welcome hime. He will not just walk into the national side though as we have some class keepers at the moment in watling, latham, van wylk and de booder. Also Mc Cullum in the shorter form. It will be great competition for these guys and can only make nz cricket stronger. Any more Kiwis in living aussie who qualify? I bet!

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2012, 4:22 GMT

    Why didn't he move sooner, he'd of had a better chance in terms of his age. I was obvious that he wasn't going to be a full time player for Australia. Had he been playing 1st Class Cricket in NZ for the last couple of years I would have thought it would have served him better. Anyway, good luck to him. NZ still won't beat us on a regular basis.

  • POSTED BY SladeR on | February 17, 2012, 3:05 GMT

    With Watling, Derek de Boorder, even Tom Latham, New Zealand is well served for future test wicketkeeper batsmen, which is the only area NZ could be considered to be looking for a wicketkeeper/batsman. McCullum will continue to serve in the T20 and 1day scene. By the time he qualifies Ronchi will be 32, I don't see the point of a discarded Australian heading to NZ. He's certainly not the future of NZ cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2012, 2:37 GMT

    As an Aussie, I admit the current selection climate isn't giving him many opportunities, I'd love to see New Zealand succeed at a higher level internationally (just not against us!) and I hope they welcome Ronchi on-board as he's a fantastic player. The Kiwis need a talented gloveman right now.

  • POSTED BY on | February 17, 2012, 0:29 GMT

    Good luck too him, Luke is a very good player who has been quite unlucky. But I think he is probably going to be a very good choice for New Zealand should they go with him, because his glove work is excellent and is batting can be very destructive. At the very least he will get his chance at Test cricket and I hope he does well for New Zealand. Ronchi was the player I thought might have gotten the nod over Haddin after Gilly retired if his form had continued, but a lack of form has cost him that chance in Australia, and opened the door for Paine and Wade and probably others. Good luck Luke, all the best.

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | February 16, 2012, 21:09 GMT

    Lucky New Zealand I say! Good luck Luke. A very good player, and an outstanding keeper, one of the best in Aus. Watch Big Bash highlights to see his class as a batsman and keeper.

  • POSTED BY gothetaniwha on | February 16, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    I see no problem , good player , i,m sure there is more NZ born AUS raised cricketers who must be thinking the same way esp after the sucess Browlie has had . Don,t know about going to Wellington who need a decent keeper but have been one of the bottom teams in NZ for the last 5 years, should have a go at bumping Hopkins out of the Auckland team .

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | February 16, 2012, 17:23 GMT

    NZ should realise the outstanding quality that they have been gifted here. ronchi was the next gilchrist at one stage

  • POSTED BY jonesy2 on | February 16, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    holy moly i never even realised this! as a nz born warriors supporter i say goodluck to him and im pretty sure this is a brilliant and amazing thing for nz cricket, surely he will be their keeper batsman for now on in all forms. his form has been great as well let alont his career of being just behind glichrist and haddin and now wade and paine. with ronchi, NZ have probably a top 3 keeper/batsman in world cricket

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    If the Kiwi selectors have any sense, they'll stick him straight in. This is a guy with a strike rate of 205 in ODIs & 174 in international T20s.

  • POSTED BY 200ondebut on | February 16, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    Well done Andrew Cocker - you've hooked a few with that one. Haha - a bit easy isn't it.

    Ronchi, like everyone else, is just playing by the rules. In a world where moving from one country to another is common place I am not sure why some people have such a problem with individuals wanting to play for the Country that they reside in.

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    This is good for Luke Ronchi and also for NZ. More competition will make whomever has the gloves work that much harder to keep them. I'd love to see him playing for NZ.

  • POSTED BY Mattyblackcapsfan on | February 16, 2012, 12:54 GMT

    news flash people ronchi isnt a import hes a born kiwi who happened to move to australia at a young age, i really hope he makes it coz hes got a real quality bout him when hes on nz selectors get him in go u black caps

  • POSTED BY Rawlonski on | February 16, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    @ Andrew Crocker..... You have had a shocker!

    Whilst born in England... Symonds was very much raised in Queensland... and as a 20 year old when given the option of a easy ride into the England team (given his three months there as a baby) who was terrible at the time, choose to battle it out to try to win a spot in the Australian team when they were at their peak....

  • POSTED BY Behind_the_bowlers_arm on | February 16, 2012, 11:42 GMT

    He has obviously been overatken by the likes of Wade, Nevill & Paine so realises his best chance of international cricket is with NZ. His form has deteriorated for WA over the past few years and he has seen the writing on the wall ... and that writing says Cameron Bancroft.

  • POSTED BY cricfan80 on | February 16, 2012, 11:23 GMT

    I'm sorry Andrew Crocker but you are a fair way off the mark there. Symonds was born in Birmingham and adopted by his parents who moved to Australia when he was 3 MONTHS OLD. He did play county cricket as an England qualified player but turned down a spot on the England A tour as he wanted to play for Australia. Probably because he lived there all his life...... Good luck to Ronchi. He probably played his best cricket at the wrong time to get a proper chance (Gilchrist and Haddin). Hopefully he can get back to his best for whoever he wants to play for.

  • POSTED BY abiggs on | February 16, 2012, 11:20 GMT

    Andrew Crocker: Symonds was indeed born in Birmingham but moved shortly afterwards to North Queensland with his adopted parents. He had played State cricket in Australia the season before his debut in the county scene, and turned down an offer to tour Pakistan with the England A side at the end of that season, instead opting to be recognised as an Australian.

  • POSTED BY Winsome on | February 16, 2012, 11:19 GMT

    Good luck to him. I'm a Warriors fan and I'd love to see him play for the Kiwis. I hope his dream comes true.

  • POSTED BY kensohatter on | February 16, 2012, 11:09 GMT

    This loophole must be closed. You cant simply change country allegiances because you feel there are better prospects of higher honours. If thats the case then be done with all this internationals and just have a top notch club circuit where players can move wherever they want. Really think a distinction needs to be made that once you play or even declare allegiance for a national side then under no circumstances can you play for a different one. This is nothing against Ronchi the guy is simply making the best of a bad system and he is right career prospect wise NZ is a good choice given he is unlikely to get into a australian side again.

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    Great move from Ronchi, he has a big chance of playing for new zealand, as either a limited overs batsman or Keeper/Batsman, good luck to him and really hope NZ select him

  • POSTED BY BCCWickie on | February 16, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Good luck Ronch, Sad to see all these NZ fans saying this is a bad thing as like or not international and domestic cricket is a global game these days and players with different backgrounds can and do represent different countries. However Luke was born in NZ so is one of your own and lets be honest on his day and coming off an excellent season with WA and Perth he will be an asset to NZ cricket for a good few years to come as only 30 and got many good years ahead of him. With McCullum not keeping in tests and NZ not having a settled keeper if Luke shows his form he should be given a chance as not to many Kiwi's can boast first class hundereds off 51 and 56 balls also a International T20 50 off 22 balls. Look forward to seeing Ronch in the all black real soon!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 10:34 GMT

    @Andrew Crocker: Symonds moved to Australia with his adopted parents when he was 3 months old. He started playing county cricket for Gloucestershire in 1995. He has played for four English counties during his career--Gloucestershire, Kent, Lancashire and Surrey.

    If you heard him talk, there is no doubt which country he calls home. ;-)

  • POSTED BY charlesandrewbudge on | February 16, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    @Malcolm Johnston - So it's acceptable if Australia do it, but not England? Just about all of England's overseas-born cricketers also grew up in England and are products of the English county system. Every single Test-playing nation outside of the subcontinent has overseas-born players involved in their national set-up. Good luck to Ronchi, now is an ideal time for him with McCullum giving up keeping in Tests.

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 10:23 GMT

    Good on him. I hope he does make the team. Adds a little more intrigue to international cricket and that's good for the game.

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    It would be a bit embarrassing for NZ if he actually made the national team. A wicketkeeper who couldn't hold down a first-team place in an Australian state team. After NZ has proven its calibre with a great win over mercurial Zimbabwe, surely Ronchi has no hope.

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    I agree with everything you say Malcolm Johnson, but Andrew Symmonds was born in my hometown Birmingham, UK before playing county cricket as an englishman for several years for Gloucestershire. I believe that his mother is Australian and he moved out to Australia permanently only later. Think he may have spent a season with Kent as an overseas player at some point.

  • POSTED BY Kiwi-Jake on | February 16, 2012, 9:35 GMT

    If he can score a whole lot of runs in domestic cricket, I don't care if he's 100 and from the North Pole. At the end of the day it should be your recent and career performances that go towards national selection, not age and birth location.

  • POSTED BY jplterrors on | February 16, 2012, 9:32 GMT

    @ Dillon Sue we dont neccesarily need youth we need the best 11. If Watling has a moose vs SA hes pretty much got the test keepers spot, we dont know how secure McCullums back is so may get a go there if he gives up gloves.

  • POSTED BY mthw on | February 16, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    We just need to entice another 9 and we will have a full eleven!

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 8:40 GMT

    he'll be 31 by the time he's eligible, we need youth in the squad

  • POSTED BY mightymf2000 on | February 16, 2012, 8:36 GMT

    Good luck, Luke you have been great for us over hin the west.

    WACA will need an new back up keeper I reckon now.

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 8:32 GMT

    @'the Barmy Army'

    All were raised in Australia, in any case you might want to have a look at the composition of your own team ;)

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    At 30 don't you think that by the time he proves himself he will be at the end of his career

  • POSTED BY marts30 on | February 16, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    @Dr_Van_Nostrand: These higher calibre cricketers feeding into our local game is no bad thing! Getting to face guys like Wagner is very good for our domestic players.

  • POSTED BY pj3000 on | February 16, 2012, 8:12 GMT

    A great shame to lose him: I really thought he should have been the Test keeper ahead of Haddin at one point...although admittedly he has slipped a bit in recent years. I hope he does make the NZ side and we get to see the best of him at the international level. So naturally gifted - best of luck to him.

  • POSTED BY ajayrcs on | February 16, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    Well Good news for Australia atleast this move will give some youngster a chance to play for warrior and try for a place in Australia.

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 8:04 GMT

    It is stupid he has played for ausie so how is eligible for the Blackcaps. Ridiculous

  • POSTED BY crikbuff on | February 16, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    Maybe we will have Chris Gayle playing for Bangladesh very soon!

  • POSTED BY azzaman333 on | February 16, 2012, 7:55 GMT

    Good luck to him, he's a quality player who could've easily played more short form internationals for Australia with a bit more luck. Unfortunately he's had some damn fine keepers ahead of him.

  • POSTED BY Dr_Van_Nostrand on | February 16, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    No, no, no!!! I really hope he doesn't get picked for NZ, the amount of imports we have at the moment is ridiculous. He probably thinks it worked for Brownlie so it might work for him. I'm sick of players moving to NZ purely for cricketing reasons, van Wyk, Elliot, de Grandhomme, Wagner....arrgh!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    He sucks, we don't want him.. Stay in aus please.

  • POSTED BY thebarmyarmy on | February 16, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    A have a had a Kiwi (Ronchi), an Englishman (Symmonds) & a Pakistani (Kwaja) over recent years! haha

  • POSTED BY Busie1979 on | February 16, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    Good luck to him. He is a massive talent and would be the first to admit he has not fulfilled his potential. I've been wondering why he hasn't been able to provide sustained performance. He is good enough to make an impact but it is clear there is no pathway in Australia. NZ might be a realistic option.

  • POSTED BY TontonZolaMoukoko on | February 16, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    This is a disgrace, he should not be allowed to represent New Zealand.

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    Oh God No..... New Zealand Are Bad enough as it is... D:

  • POSTED BY thefountain on | February 16, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    This is good news! I think NZ cricket should be doing a lot more of this. Trying to entice players to NZ.

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    attention wellington cricket. sign this guy up NOW

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | February 16, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    Good on him, he never quite found his way into the Aus setup although he has talent. I'm sure if NZ were able to pick him now he'd fit into their first XI in any format (assuming Baz doesn't take the gloves)

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    He has choosen a good time to switch allegences with NZ without a permanent keeper in the test XI at present. But with McCullum still keeping in ODIs and T20Is I can't see him breaking into those teams. In the shorter formats McCullum is up there with Sangakara and De Villiers as the best keeper-batsmen in the world.

  • POSTED BY SirBobJones on | February 16, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    Will be sad to lose him to Kiwis, hope he has a change of mind and ends up being selected for Australia...always thought him under-rated.

  • POSTED BY JesseV on | February 16, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    Good luck to him! He can be a quality player, albeit not the most consistent of players. New Zealand are startng to resemble England, with the amount of overseas born players in their squads- Brownlie, de Grandhomme, van Wyk, Elliott

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  • POSTED BY JesseV on | February 16, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    Good luck to him! He can be a quality player, albeit not the most consistent of players. New Zealand are startng to resemble England, with the amount of overseas born players in their squads- Brownlie, de Grandhomme, van Wyk, Elliott

  • POSTED BY SirBobJones on | February 16, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    Will be sad to lose him to Kiwis, hope he has a change of mind and ends up being selected for Australia...always thought him under-rated.

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 6:42 GMT

    He has choosen a good time to switch allegences with NZ without a permanent keeper in the test XI at present. But with McCullum still keeping in ODIs and T20Is I can't see him breaking into those teams. In the shorter formats McCullum is up there with Sangakara and De Villiers as the best keeper-batsmen in the world.

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | February 16, 2012, 6:43 GMT

    Good on him, he never quite found his way into the Aus setup although he has talent. I'm sure if NZ were able to pick him now he'd fit into their first XI in any format (assuming Baz doesn't take the gloves)

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 7:02 GMT

    attention wellington cricket. sign this guy up NOW

  • POSTED BY thefountain on | February 16, 2012, 7:04 GMT

    This is good news! I think NZ cricket should be doing a lot more of this. Trying to entice players to NZ.

  • POSTED BY on | February 16, 2012, 7:09 GMT

    Oh God No..... New Zealand Are Bad enough as it is... D:

  • POSTED BY TontonZolaMoukoko on | February 16, 2012, 7:15 GMT

    This is a disgrace, he should not be allowed to represent New Zealand.

  • POSTED BY Busie1979 on | February 16, 2012, 7:31 GMT

    Good luck to him. He is a massive talent and would be the first to admit he has not fulfilled his potential. I've been wondering why he hasn't been able to provide sustained performance. He is good enough to make an impact but it is clear there is no pathway in Australia. NZ might be a realistic option.

  • POSTED BY thebarmyarmy on | February 16, 2012, 7:37 GMT

    A have a had a Kiwi (Ronchi), an Englishman (Symmonds) & a Pakistani (Kwaja) over recent years! haha