Former New Zealand opener ends 14-year career May 30, 2006

Horne retires from first-class cricket

Cricinfo staff

Matthew Horne calls it a day after a 14-year first-class career © Getty Images
Matt Horne, the former New Zealand opening batsman, announced his retirement from first-class cricket yesterday.

Horne, 35, who last played a Test in 2003 against Sri Lanka at Kandy, felt that the time was right to make a break from competitive cricket. He is currently playing in Scotland during the New Zealand winter.

"I've been incredibly lucky with injuries over the years, which has allowed me to play as long as I have, and I certainly couldn't have done it without a lot of help", Horne told NZPA. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have had an impact on my career, especially the support from my family, Garth Gallaway, John Graham, Brittain Wynyard and the Grafton United Cricket Club."

Horne played 35 Tests and 50 ODIs for New Zealand since making his international debut in 1997. An attacking batsman with a characteristic high backlift, he scored 1788 runs in Tests at an average of 28.38 with four centuries and five half-centuries. He was less successful in the one-dayers, making 980 runs at an average of 20.41 with five half-centuries. His last ODI was against Pakistan at Lahore in 2002.

He began his career at Auckland in 1992-93, and his breakthrough innings was the190 off 192 balls which helped his side defeat Wellington in the 1995-96 domestic championship final. He moved to Otago shortly after and enjoyed a profitable season, amassing 843 runs, which ultimately led to a call up to the Test side against England. He scored 42 on debut at Christchurch and his first Test century came against Australia at Hobart later in the year.

Horne enjoyed a good tour of England in 1999 and it was his 100 at Lord's which was instrumental in New Zealand's win. However, he suffered a loss of form and was in and out of the Test side, with the New Zealand selectors constantly experimenting with different openers. His ODI career was disappointing, failing to score a century, despite his attacking style of play. His highest score was 74, against India at Nottingham in the 1999 World Cup.