Health problems contribute to batsman's early departure October 17, 2007

McMillan announces his retirement

Cricinfo staff



Craig McMillan's last home summer of international cricket included the fastest ODI century by a New Zealand player, a 66-ball effort against Australia © Getty Images

Craig McMillan has retired from international and domestic cricket, citing personal reasons and health problems as contributing factors. McMillan, 31, said he wanted to go out on a high and would now spend time with his family before making any further decisions on his future.

"I have decided that the time is right for me to retire from cricket to spend more time with my family, as well as look after my health, as I have had ongoing issues related to diabetes," McMillan said. "I feel that the past season has been one of the best of my cricket career and I am happy to be retiring on a really positive note."

There had been reports that McMillan would quit to take up a contract with the Indian Cricket League and he said he would consider that option but it was no certainty. "I will now spend time with my family before deciding what direction I will take with my future," he said.

Justin Vaughan, the CEO of New Zealand Cricket, said although McMillan still had plenty to offer he had been released from his national contract on compassionate grounds. "We are disappointed to be losing Craig at this point," Vaughan said. "His performances at the recent Twenty20 World Cup were tremendous. I understand his reasons for wishing to retire and wish him all the best for the future."

McMillan sits fourth on New Zealand's all-time ODI run-tally, behind his contemporaries Stephen Fleming, Nathan Astle and Chris Cairns. In his 197 one-day internationals he scored 4707 runs at 28.18, an average that perhaps did not reflect his full potential.

His Test career petered out after the home series against Australia in March 2005, however his 3116 runs at 38.46 from 55 appearances made him a valuable part of the side for much of the past decade. McMillan backed up his three ODI centuries and six Test hundreds with more than useful medium-pace bowling which brought him 28 Test wickets at 44.89 and 49 one-day victims at 35.04.

A destructive, though sometimes inconsistent batsman, McMillan was 20 when he was first called into the national limited-overs side in 1997 during a quadrangular tournament in India. His striking power was soon obvious - his maiden ODI half-century featured five sixes but no fours against Zimbabwe at Harare.



McMillan was also a useful medium-pace bowler who claimed 49 ODI wickets and 28 in Tests © Getty Images

A Test call-up followed on the 1997-98 tour of Australia and in his first appearance McMillan showed his promise with 54 against an attack led by Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. McMillan usually brought the same aggression to Test cricket as he did to the limited-overs game, and in March 2001 he broke the record for the most runs in a Test over with 26 off Younis Khan's part-time legspin at Hamilton.

However, he could also show fight and determination when his team needed it. In October 2003, after being dropped from a tour of Sri Lanka earlier in the year, McMillan justified his recall with an unusually cautious 83 not out from 190 balls as he and Nathan Astle rescued New Zealand from what looked like certain defeat against India at Ahmedabad.

He twice set a record for the fastest ODI century by a New Zealand player - first from 75 balls against Pakistan in 2000-01 and then from 67 deliveries against Australia in this year's Chappell-Hadlee Series in February. The latter effort was another case of McMillan justifying his recall; he had lost his national contract in June 2006 and considered a career as a salesman before the selectors gave him another chance.

Although he had a quiet Caribbean trip at his third World Cup, McMillan sparkled in the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa. During what would be his final international tournament he was New Zealand's leading run-scorer with 163 at 40.75 and a strike-rate of 181.

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