New Zealand news May 27, 2010

Ewen Thompson quits first-class cricket

Cricinfo staff

Ewen Thompson, the Central Districts left-arm seamer who played an ODI and a Twenty20 for New Zealand, has retired from first-class cricket. The 30-year-old has announced that he wants to focus on being a player-cum-coach for club side Northland from next season.

Thompson had already hinted at retirement recently, when he told his bosses at Central Districts that he won't be available for the Twenty20 Champions League in South Africa later this year.

"I have decided I'd rather move on earlier rather than stay around for the tournament so have organised my job with Northland Cricket," Thompson told New Plymouth-based Taranaki Daily News. "I'm focusing on my other careers, which is coaching and in property."

A tall left-armer and useful lower-order batsman, Thompson was rewarded with a national call-up at the age of 29, during West Indies' tour of New Zealand in 2008-09. He made his first-class debut in 2000-01 and immediately made an impact, finishing the joint second-highest wicket-taker (22) for his state. His journey to the top wasn't easy - he once suffered a fatigue-related virus - and his perseverance was one of his string suits.

Thompson ended the previous Plunket Shield season as the third-highest wicket-taker with 34 in eight games at an average of 24.08. Despite those figures, Thompson admitted that his body felt the strain towards the end of the season, which prompted his decision to quit the first-class game.

"I'm not a player who can manage my workload very well. I just like to get stuck in and I really found the last part of last season tough keeping up the overs I tended to bowl," Thompson said. "Plus, we've got some good young guys coming through in Central Districts like Adam Milne, who really impressed me with his start last summer, so it's a good time to move on."

Before joining Northland, he will play six weeks of club cricket in Ireland from August.