New Zealand news April 10, 2014

Shanan Stewart retires from cricket

ESPNcricinfo staff

Shanan Stewart, who represented New Zealand in four ODIs in 2010, has called time on his career in top-flight cricket. The 31-year old hard-hitting batsman made his first-class debut in 2001 for Canterbury and had since played 244 matches for the side in all formats, second to former Test cricketer Chris Harris.

"It was still a very tough call," Stewart told Fairfax NZ News. "I've made some really good mates in this sport and it was a pretty tough decision to retire. But I've got a young family now and other things on my plate and, really, at the end of the day I probably wasn't having as much success as I wanted."

Stewart made 5693 runs in four-day cricket at 36.72, with seven centuries and 35 fifties. His farewell innings was a blistering and unbeaten 96 off 65 balls to sink Auckland in February. He struck 3521 List A runs including four centuries and 17 fifties and in the shortest format he had 679 runs, with five fifties and a strike rate of 124.35.

Peter Fulton, the Canterbury captain, praised Stewart's method that sustained a domestic career spanning over a decade. "He's a bit of an old-school cricketer," Fulton said. "He played the game hard, always gave 100 per cent and he had fun."

Stewart's greatest highlight remains his 485 runs in seven matches during Canterbury's successful Plunket Shield campaign in 2010-11, an achievement made all the more significant having come under difficult times.

"Winning the four-day championship after the earthquake [2010-11 season] when we were all down and out a bit, that was special," he said. "The way Fults (Fulton) and Bobby [assistant coach Bob Carter] pulled us through, that was brilliant and winning that title really was the highlight for me. I owe a lot to Bobby, he was the coach who really seemed to get the most out of me."

A first-class highest of 227 proved the stepping stone into the national side but the promotion did not last too long after he could muster only 26 runs in four ODIs in 2010. He had skirted around the edges of a T20I debut having made the 30-man preliminary squad for that year's World T20, but missed out.

"Obviously I would have loved more success with New Zealand but I have no regrets," he said.