Cricket Ireland May 4, 2011

Andre Botha announces retirement

ESPNcricinfo staff

The Ireland allrounder Andre Botha has announced his retirement from international cricket at the age of 35, after an injury-plagued finale to a career in which he represented his country on 141 occasions.

Botha's five-year career coincided with Ireland's emergence on the global stage. In that time he scored 3606 runs at an average of 27.74, which puts him sixth in the country's all-time aggregate list.

He scored 13 half-centuries and six hundreds, with a highest score of 186 against Scotland in 2007, and he also holds the record partnership for Ireland - 360 for the third wicket with Eoin Morgan against UAE in 2007.

Botha also excelled with the ball for Ireland, taking 176 wickets an average of just 21.99, which places him eighth on the country's all-time list. His best bowling figures of 4 for 19 came against Kenya in an ODI in 2008, but it will be his spell of 2 for 5 in the 2007 World Cup win against Pakistan for which he is best remembered.

"I have given this matter serious and long consideration, but ultimately have come to the conclusion that the time is right now," said Botha. "I can assure you it's a matter I haven't taken lightly, but sometimes your body makes up your mind for you.

"It's hard to pick a special memory from my Irish career, as every time I have put on the green jersey has been a personal highlight. I just want to thank some of my very close friends for their support and belief over the years - you know who you are.

Ireland coach Phil Simmons led the tributes to Botha saying: "Andre has been an integral part of this Irish team's success since his debut way back in 2001. He will be sorely missed, not only for his cleverly disguised slower balls or his trademark square cuts, but for his total dedication to the cause and the team.

"His courage continuing to represent Ireland with the different injuries he's endured over the last couple of years has been incredible, and shows just what a big heart he has. On behalf of the Irish team I want to wish Andre all the best for the future, and I hope his invaluable experience will not be lost to Irish cricket."

Former coach Adrian Birrell praised Botha's role in Irish cricket reaching tenth place in the world rankings saying: ''There comes a time for every player and sadly Andre has decided this is the right time to retire. He has been a colossal player for Ireland in the past decade.

"I had the great good fortune that Andre had completed his qualification terms when I arrived and he became one of the major players around whom I built the team during my tenure as National Coach. His all round ability was invaluable and he made many match winning contributions. His ability to take care of the back end of the power plays and the partnership with Kyle McCallan in building pressure in the middle overs was crucial to our success.

"I remember vividly his runs securing our future in defeating Denmark in 2002, the great victory winning the ICC Intercontinental Cup against Kenya in 2005 and his record partnership with Eoin Morgan against UAE in 2007 which paved the way for the successful 2007 World Cup campaign, and who can forget his spell in the famous Pakistan victory.

"I value Andre as a cricketer and more importantly as a friend. I have no doubt he will continue to make a contribution to Cricket Ireland. Congratulations Andre on a great career - your contribution to Irish Cricket will be remembered and appreciated for a very long time.'

In an emotional press release, Botha thanked his wife, Yvonne, his team-mates and the staff at Cricket Ireland for their support throughout his career, and urged all concerned to keep pressing the country's case for inclusion at the 2015 World Cup, after the ICC's decision to reduce the number of participants from 14 to 10.

"It's been a great journey," he said. "We achieved dreams that many thought impossible. To the rest of the players who played with me for Ireland, it's been fantastic - keep it going. Keep fighting the fight for 2015."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Michael on May 5, 2011, 22:52 GMT

    Great carrear mate you deserve to play a test

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2011, 6:32 GMT

    Great Player Indeed without much recognition

  • MANU on May 5, 2011, 5:44 GMT

    Ireland need gets to get a good spinner companion for Dockrell.With both Botha and West having retired,they need a spinner badly.Hope Albet van de Merwe becomes a good replacement for them.Botha worked hard for making Ireland no 1 associate immediately after they got ODI status.He was a genuine all rounder.

  • Andrew on May 5, 2011, 1:29 GMT

    It will be interseting to see who will step up & take his place in the side/squad. The ICC need to ensure that Ireland have plenty of International matches to prevent them all trying to get qualification for England. @diddles - Oz position is it wants a MERIT based 10-team W/Cup, that WOULD include Ireland as they are ahead of Zim at the moment on the rankings. Countries like Bang & Zim don't want this as they MAY miss the cut!

  • Dummy4 on May 4, 2011, 22:39 GMT

    Great player, he will be missed.

  • michael on May 4, 2011, 19:43 GMT

    Well played Andre. As an Aussie, deeply embarrassed by Cricket Australia's present position on the associates involvement in next world cup, I have really enjoyed the performances of Ireland in the last two world cups. Your team, along with Netherlands and other associates/affiliates, deserve the chance to play in the next and all following world cups. Frankly, if the next world cup does not include at least 12 teams, it will be doing cricket a total disservice as the world cup would become a quasi one...if the ICC is wise about its development program, it should include 14 if not 16. Irish supporters, keep up the fight. Seriously, Ireland has the capacity to play test cricket and I hope to see your national team being elevated to that status in this decade.

  • Andy on May 4, 2011, 19:26 GMT


  • Artur on May 4, 2011, 19:05 GMT


  • tomas on May 4, 2011, 19:05 GMT

    Congrats to Andre on a great career and many thanks for all the effort he has put in to Irish cricket.

    This article makes for interesting reading following on from the Tony Greig piece. Two saffers adopted to northern hemisphere sides who both played their hearts out for their respective countries. While I don't know anyone with a bad word to say about Botha, and he deserves all the plaudits he receives, Greig still doesn't receive the recognition his international career merits.

  • Dummy4 on May 4, 2011, 18:38 GMT

    Huge respect and best wishes to you Andre. There's not a true Irish cricket fan that won't be missing you. Some-one spoke to me just as you ran in to bowl 'that ball' to Imzamam... I went all the way to Jamaica and didn't see that magic moment. I've watched it a couple of dozen time since though! Cricketing history... and Andre Botha was in the thick of it! Like Trent, I hope there's a niche somewhere at CI for you.

  • No featured comments at the moment.