Zimbabwe news July 28, 2013

Ray Price retires from international cricket

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Ray Price, the Zimbabwe left-arm spinner, has retired from international cricket. Price, 37, was included in Zimbabwe's squad for their ongoing one-day series against India but won't be travelling with the team to Bulawayo, the venue for the last two games.

It was widely suspected that this series would be Price's last for Zimbabwe, but with national contracts expiring after India's visit, he has decided to call time on his career mid-series. "I was going to wait until my contract expired to call it a day but, yes, I've decided to retire from international cricket," Price told ESPNcricinfo. "I won't be going with the guys to Bulawayo. I'm retired."

There had been some confusion over Price's place in the squad before the series because he wasn't named in the initial list, but coach Andy Waller insisted that he had always been part of the team. Price was ever present during Zimbabwe's net sessions in the lead-up to the India series, and it had been thought that he would be given a chance to bid farewell with one final match.

That was not to be, however, and he will finish with exactly 100 wickets in 102 ODIs, to go with his 80 dismissals in 22 Tests and 13 scalps in 16 Twenty20 internationals.

"Pricey's called it a day," Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor said. "If he was going to play it was going to be here in Harare. We're going to miss his experience, but in saying that it does give our young spinners who are coming through a great opportunity."

Price's career straddled two distinct eras in Zimbabwean cricket. He debuted as a 23-year old in the third Test of the series against Sri Lanka at Harare Sports Club in 1999, but just as he established himself in the national side he threw in his lot with Heath Streak and the rebel cricketers and found himself ostracised. He left Zimbabwe for England and spent three and a half seasons with Worcestershire.

His refusal of a new county contract in 2007 surprised many, and in November of that year he came out of exile and returned to Zimbabwe in the series against West Indies. Having left as something of a fringe player - particularly in one-day cricket - Price quickly re-established himself as a canny and economical bowler in ODIs.

In 2009, he picked up 44 wickets at 20.61 and ascended to second in the ICC ODI rankings for bowlers. He remained Zimbabwe's senior bowler for several years, and was their leading performer at the 2011 World Cup in India with nine wickets at 18.77. His last match for Zimbabwe was the Bridgetown Test against West Indies in March this year, in which he took just one wicket as the team suffered a heavy defeat.

As important as his bowling was the spirit Price brought to a team struggling to find its way after all the upheavals in Zimbabwean cricket. A fierce adversary, Price bowled left-arm spin with the attitude of a fast bowler, refusing to back down no matter who the opposition and helping instill some backbone in the side.

"He's a hell of a competitor," Taylor said. "He's a guy that plays with his heart on his sleeve. He leaves nothing out on the field, he'll give you everything and he's a real team man. Unfortunately age is not on his side anymore, and he's moving on with his family.

"We'll miss him, but I'm sure he'll still be in the picture with our young spinners coming through and I'm sure he'll always be contributing somewhere along the line."

Though he will no longer be part of the national side, Price will still be a regular at Harare Sports Club. He runs the sports equipment shop at the ground, and will divide his time between the shop, his family and one of his favourite pursuits: fishing.

Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on July 28, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    He once made Tendulkar stuggled against his wily spin bowling. He couldn't stamp his authority at the highest level because Zimbabwe didn't play that many test matches in recent times. Although Brian Lara dominated him in the 2003 test series, yet he kept on tossing the ball never afraid of getting hit for sixes. Now he can teach some of the young Zimbabweans how to bowl left arm spin

  • ZCFOutkast on July 28, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    Great servant for Zimbabwe. More than any other player Zim losing its Test status at that critical time affected him most. That denied world cricket a top spinner who would've been a great reference point for slow left arm spinners to follow in the long format. His talents were not wasted because he came back, did a sterling job in the ODIs Zim was limited to, and reached the pinnacle of bowler rankings. True class!

    Despite his misleading aggression, that's just him being a tough competitor, but on the whole he had a good rapport with the opposition and umpires.

    He should have played in the Harare leg of this series, particularly the 2nd match when it was clear the young leggies wouldn't cut it. Indeed Mutombodzi was dropped so there was room for him. I blame a few elements in ZC for trying to squeeze KJ in the side because there was no way they could keep the best seamer Vitori out any longer, Chatara was brilliant, but no one had the gonads to drop KJ. Which proved 'fatal' for him.

  • Paracha420 on August 1, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    Ray Price surely will be missed by Zimwabe Ray Price was the only good thing happend to Zimwabean crkt in 10 years or so......

  • vsssarma on July 30, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    ZCF_Outkast: Kyle Jarvis (14 matches, 6.20 runs per over, 52.07 runs per wkt) is a little lowly rated by DMAC (25.5 marks). SW Masakadza (4 matches, 6.11 runs per over, 22.90 runs wkt) is rated at 46.7 marks. Mushangwe (62.7 marks), Ncube (64.5), Chatara (46.6) are rated ok.

    Utseya is rated (20 matches, 5.09 runs per over, 58.12 runs per wkt) at 57.4 marks. Mpofu is rated at 49.3 marks (5.26 runs per over, 58.89 runs per wkt).

    This rating is done by the system for every match, looking at each bowler's amount of bowling, wkts taken, runs conceded. Best is given as 1,000 and the worst is given 0. 2-year Rating is taken as average of every match rating.

    As for Price, I felt that he was captaincy material; the way he owned the team. Sad that he will not be seen again.

  • MeijiMura on July 30, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    It's very disappointing that the Zimbabwean hierarchy couldn't find it in themselves to give Price a send-off in Harare given his service to the country over so many years. Surely they could have given him at least one game out of the first three in the series. Extremely poor form by the hierarchy and not good for team morale!

  • ZCFOutkast on July 30, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    @vsssarma, So your DMAC system does make a bit of sense after all! Kyle is nowhere near that list. Had Shingi played as much as him, he would've have had more than double the amount of wickets he has, and without doubt vastly improved on his economy rate. ZC politics! Mushangwe, Ncube & Chatara who feature are still relatively fresh but that's testament to their potential.

    However, I'm not sure why Mpofu&Utseya don't feature in your list? It seems to me that they've done well - particularly Utseya who's been our best wicket-taker against the Top 8 sides, hence his value! Price's SR is a little worse than theirs and the SR marginally better. (http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;orderby=economy_rate;qualmin2=3;qualval2=innings_bowled;spanmax1=30+Jul+2013;spanmin1=30+Jul+2011;spanval1=span;team=9;template=results;type=bowling).

    But very true Price was exceptionally consistent!

  • Kumaranuj on July 30, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    Price had to play this series against INDIA to give Indian batsmen a real challenge of spin bowling like MISHRA. If he was playing the result might have been different for the host

  • vsssarma on July 30, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    There are some bowlers who stifle opposition; do not allow them to score off them easily and win matches for their team.

    There are other bowlers who take wickets and break the batting of opposition to win matches.

    Both are important but there should be a way to relatively judge them.

    I feel that important bowlers of Zimbabwe have been:

    SW Masakadza: 22.90 runs per wkt in the last 2 years.

    Mushangwe: 4.60 runs per over.

    Ncube: 23 runs per wkt

    Vitori: 23.78 runs per wkt

    Price: 4.82 runs per over

    Panyangara: 4.90 runs per over.

    Chatara: 4.94 runs per over.

    Other bowlers are conceding over 5 runs per over.

    Price remains Zimbabwe's most consistent bowler. In the last 13 matches, he took 11 wkts conceding 612 runs off 762 balls. Brilliant performance.

  • on July 29, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    ODI economy personified. In the era of short boundaries and the rising influence of T20, very few bowlers manage to keep runs in check in the ODIs, much less spinners. But Ray Price stands out as a bowler to bow out with an economy rate of less than 4 per over. I think he didn't get as many chances as he deserved, especially during the end of his career, but he made other spinners in the team like Cremer and Utseya look good when he controlled the run rate from his end in the middle overs, and they didn't look as effective after Price stopped getting picked, so now he is only leaving with his reputation enhanced. Like Chris Martin, another underrated bowler but fierce competitor hangs up his boots. Good luck Pricey!

  • on July 29, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    Sad that the likes of Ray Price and Paul Strang could not enjoy a "smooth" career, just because they played for Zimbabwe. Both of them were excellent spinners. It was after his struggles with Ray Price, that talk about Sachin's weakness against left arm spinners started.Here's wishing this whole hearted cricketer all the very best in his future endeavors!!!

  • on July 28, 2013, 16:35 GMT

    He once made Tendulkar stuggled against his wily spin bowling. He couldn't stamp his authority at the highest level because Zimbabwe didn't play that many test matches in recent times. Although Brian Lara dominated him in the 2003 test series, yet he kept on tossing the ball never afraid of getting hit for sixes. Now he can teach some of the young Zimbabweans how to bowl left arm spin

  • ZCFOutkast on July 28, 2013, 16:04 GMT

    Great servant for Zimbabwe. More than any other player Zim losing its Test status at that critical time affected him most. That denied world cricket a top spinner who would've been a great reference point for slow left arm spinners to follow in the long format. His talents were not wasted because he came back, did a sterling job in the ODIs Zim was limited to, and reached the pinnacle of bowler rankings. True class!

    Despite his misleading aggression, that's just him being a tough competitor, but on the whole he had a good rapport with the opposition and umpires.

    He should have played in the Harare leg of this series, particularly the 2nd match when it was clear the young leggies wouldn't cut it. Indeed Mutombodzi was dropped so there was room for him. I blame a few elements in ZC for trying to squeeze KJ in the side because there was no way they could keep the best seamer Vitori out any longer, Chatara was brilliant, but no one had the gonads to drop KJ. Which proved 'fatal' for him.

  • Paracha420 on August 1, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    Ray Price surely will be missed by Zimwabe Ray Price was the only good thing happend to Zimwabean crkt in 10 years or so......

  • vsssarma on July 30, 2013, 11:10 GMT

    ZCF_Outkast: Kyle Jarvis (14 matches, 6.20 runs per over, 52.07 runs per wkt) is a little lowly rated by DMAC (25.5 marks). SW Masakadza (4 matches, 6.11 runs per over, 22.90 runs wkt) is rated at 46.7 marks. Mushangwe (62.7 marks), Ncube (64.5), Chatara (46.6) are rated ok.

    Utseya is rated (20 matches, 5.09 runs per over, 58.12 runs per wkt) at 57.4 marks. Mpofu is rated at 49.3 marks (5.26 runs per over, 58.89 runs per wkt).

    This rating is done by the system for every match, looking at each bowler's amount of bowling, wkts taken, runs conceded. Best is given as 1,000 and the worst is given 0. 2-year Rating is taken as average of every match rating.

    As for Price, I felt that he was captaincy material; the way he owned the team. Sad that he will not be seen again.

  • MeijiMura on July 30, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    It's very disappointing that the Zimbabwean hierarchy couldn't find it in themselves to give Price a send-off in Harare given his service to the country over so many years. Surely they could have given him at least one game out of the first three in the series. Extremely poor form by the hierarchy and not good for team morale!

  • ZCFOutkast on July 30, 2013, 8:47 GMT

    @vsssarma, So your DMAC system does make a bit of sense after all! Kyle is nowhere near that list. Had Shingi played as much as him, he would've have had more than double the amount of wickets he has, and without doubt vastly improved on his economy rate. ZC politics! Mushangwe, Ncube & Chatara who feature are still relatively fresh but that's testament to their potential.

    However, I'm not sure why Mpofu&Utseya don't feature in your list? It seems to me that they've done well - particularly Utseya who's been our best wicket-taker against the Top 8 sides, hence his value! Price's SR is a little worse than theirs and the SR marginally better. (http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;orderby=economy_rate;qualmin2=3;qualval2=innings_bowled;spanmax1=30+Jul+2013;spanmin1=30+Jul+2011;spanval1=span;team=9;template=results;type=bowling).

    But very true Price was exceptionally consistent!

  • Kumaranuj on July 30, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    Price had to play this series against INDIA to give Indian batsmen a real challenge of spin bowling like MISHRA. If he was playing the result might have been different for the host

  • vsssarma on July 30, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    There are some bowlers who stifle opposition; do not allow them to score off them easily and win matches for their team.

    There are other bowlers who take wickets and break the batting of opposition to win matches.

    Both are important but there should be a way to relatively judge them.

    I feel that important bowlers of Zimbabwe have been:

    SW Masakadza: 22.90 runs per wkt in the last 2 years.

    Mushangwe: 4.60 runs per over.

    Ncube: 23 runs per wkt

    Vitori: 23.78 runs per wkt

    Price: 4.82 runs per over

    Panyangara: 4.90 runs per over.

    Chatara: 4.94 runs per over.

    Other bowlers are conceding over 5 runs per over.

    Price remains Zimbabwe's most consistent bowler. In the last 13 matches, he took 11 wkts conceding 612 runs off 762 balls. Brilliant performance.

  • on July 29, 2013, 19:28 GMT

    ODI economy personified. In the era of short boundaries and the rising influence of T20, very few bowlers manage to keep runs in check in the ODIs, much less spinners. But Ray Price stands out as a bowler to bow out with an economy rate of less than 4 per over. I think he didn't get as many chances as he deserved, especially during the end of his career, but he made other spinners in the team like Cremer and Utseya look good when he controlled the run rate from his end in the middle overs, and they didn't look as effective after Price stopped getting picked, so now he is only leaving with his reputation enhanced. Like Chris Martin, another underrated bowler but fierce competitor hangs up his boots. Good luck Pricey!

  • on July 29, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    Sad that the likes of Ray Price and Paul Strang could not enjoy a "smooth" career, just because they played for Zimbabwe. Both of them were excellent spinners. It was after his struggles with Ray Price, that talk about Sachin's weakness against left arm spinners started.Here's wishing this whole hearted cricketer all the very best in his future endeavors!!!

  • on July 29, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    amazing player, wish zimbabwe cricket didnt run into those problems otherwise he would have had more accomplishments.

  • Sarfin on July 29, 2013, 13:10 GMT

    One of the best spinners in recent past. Unfortunately he didn't enjoy enough reputation because he was in a low ranked team. Wish him all the best.

  • smudgeon on July 29, 2013, 11:39 GMT

    I liked Ray Price - spoke like a poet, bowled like a boxer. Sorry to see him go, but he seems like the kind of guy who once he's made his mind up, he's made it up.

  • wnwn on July 29, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    Even though he played for Zimbabwe, Ray Price was one of the best left arm spinners in world cricket. I don't think i ever saw him bowl a bad spell.

  • baskar_guha on July 29, 2013, 10:21 GMT

    Ray Price was great to watch. He would have had an impact if he had played the ODIs against India.

  • Anil_Koshy on July 29, 2013, 8:03 GMT

    A sad day for Zimbabwean cricket, another great player retires without playing to to his full potential, pity to see the game losing good players like this.

  • Mr-ZimCricket on July 29, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    great cricketer and lover of the game. worked hard for the team and continuously strived to improve. he has served the country well and despite falling out with Zim Cricket during his exiled years, his love for game and country made him return and continued where he had left. i am a bit disappointed that the selectors didnt give him a chance to bid the fans good bye during the 3rd ODI with India in front of a packed Harare Sports Club. Nontheless, that will not take away his brilliant pedigree and we will treasure your contribution to Zim and International cricket. hopefully you will continue with the game off the field.

    THANKS PRICEY (Razor)

  • Anti-ZCAdmin on July 29, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    Adios Ray thank you for your services to Zim cricket

  • Naresh28 on July 29, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    Don't understand why he was not given a game as a farewell!!!

  • SamWintson92 on July 28, 2013, 19:42 GMT

    I would've liked to see him play in WC 2015. By then he'll be 39 & I think it shouldn't be a roadblock for a spinner of the calibre of Raymond Price. He was the leading test bowler of Zim before the rebel strike. Some 70 wickets in 18 tests with 5 wicket hauls against quality test nations. He troubled Tendulker & many legend batsmen. Featured for Worcestershire in county cricket. Became very successful ODI bowler post his return in 2007. He wasn't given a proper run in tests when Zim returned to the format. When Pak toured Zim, the Pak test batsmen said Price was making life difficult for them with his tight bowling. I bet he would've re-established himself in the tests if he was provided with sufficient opportunities. It's so perplexing that why he was getting overlooked continuously after the Zim tour of NZ finished in 2012. Wasn't included in the ODI squad which toured WI in April this year. Played the 1st test of 2 test series against WI which turned out to be his final international appearance. He was so aggressive a cricketer. World cricket will miss Raymond Price. The reason has to be an internal conflict which brought premature end of the career of many Zim cricketers. Otherwise I'm sure he would've continued to keep on playing.

  • jw76 on July 28, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    Ray is a victim of a short-sighted selection policy that favoured talented but inexperienced younger players, a failure to appreciate, in addition to his excellent bowling, that he had far more experience than any other player in the team and made a great contribution to team spirit and nurturing of younger players. He may have looked a hard-bitten old pro on the field, but he liked to have fun in the game but perhaps failed to smile enough for the television cameras to get this across - some commentators thought he was sledging the opposition at times when he was just making dryly humorous comments. He should not have been dropped - poor show, selectors. Go well, Ray, my friend, you deserved a more honourable send-off than this.

  • on July 28, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    I remember him as sachin had got out to his left arm spin in tests

  • crkt4evr on July 28, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    i liked watching him bowl! have a great life pricey :)

  • on July 28, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Real shame. Zimbabwe need his expertise IMO, Utseya is majorly overrated and the young leggies are inexperienced. Mushangwe is the future, Mutombodzi can't cut it. Perhaps another spinner can step up for Zimbabwe. A sad day for cricket in that country.

  • on July 28, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    What a competitor. Superb control as well. Gave it his all. Hats Off.. Ray Price!!

  • VVSR92 on July 28, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    no doubt for still work in progress nation like zim its a huge loss since it would miss experience of a workhorse like raymond price . He has been the best spinner of zim in the last decade . Not playing regularly might have played a part in his decision , one of the better cricketers zim has had . Best of luck for the future ray .

  • VVSR92 on July 28, 2013, 15:58 GMT

    no doubt for still work in progress nation like zim its a huge loss since it would miss experience of a workhorse like raymond price . He has been the best spinner of zim in the last decade . Not playing regularly might have played a part in his decision , one of the better cricketers zim has had . Best of luck for the future ray .

  • on July 28, 2013, 16:17 GMT

    What a competitor. Superb control as well. Gave it his all. Hats Off.. Ray Price!!

  • on July 28, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    Real shame. Zimbabwe need his expertise IMO, Utseya is majorly overrated and the young leggies are inexperienced. Mushangwe is the future, Mutombodzi can't cut it. Perhaps another spinner can step up for Zimbabwe. A sad day for cricket in that country.

  • crkt4evr on July 28, 2013, 16:31 GMT

    i liked watching him bowl! have a great life pricey :)

  • on July 28, 2013, 17:13 GMT

    I remember him as sachin had got out to his left arm spin in tests

  • jw76 on July 28, 2013, 18:54 GMT

    Ray is a victim of a short-sighted selection policy that favoured talented but inexperienced younger players, a failure to appreciate, in addition to his excellent bowling, that he had far more experience than any other player in the team and made a great contribution to team spirit and nurturing of younger players. He may have looked a hard-bitten old pro on the field, but he liked to have fun in the game but perhaps failed to smile enough for the television cameras to get this across - some commentators thought he was sledging the opposition at times when he was just making dryly humorous comments. He should not have been dropped - poor show, selectors. Go well, Ray, my friend, you deserved a more honourable send-off than this.

  • SamWintson92 on July 28, 2013, 19:42 GMT

    I would've liked to see him play in WC 2015. By then he'll be 39 & I think it shouldn't be a roadblock for a spinner of the calibre of Raymond Price. He was the leading test bowler of Zim before the rebel strike. Some 70 wickets in 18 tests with 5 wicket hauls against quality test nations. He troubled Tendulker & many legend batsmen. Featured for Worcestershire in county cricket. Became very successful ODI bowler post his return in 2007. He wasn't given a proper run in tests when Zim returned to the format. When Pak toured Zim, the Pak test batsmen said Price was making life difficult for them with his tight bowling. I bet he would've re-established himself in the tests if he was provided with sufficient opportunities. It's so perplexing that why he was getting overlooked continuously after the Zim tour of NZ finished in 2012. Wasn't included in the ODI squad which toured WI in April this year. Played the 1st test of 2 test series against WI which turned out to be his final international appearance. He was so aggressive a cricketer. World cricket will miss Raymond Price. The reason has to be an internal conflict which brought premature end of the career of many Zim cricketers. Otherwise I'm sure he would've continued to keep on playing.

  • Naresh28 on July 29, 2013, 6:28 GMT

    Don't understand why he was not given a game as a farewell!!!

  • Anti-ZCAdmin on July 29, 2013, 6:33 GMT

    Adios Ray thank you for your services to Zim cricket

  • Mr-ZimCricket on July 29, 2013, 7:36 GMT

    great cricketer and lover of the game. worked hard for the team and continuously strived to improve. he has served the country well and despite falling out with Zim Cricket during his exiled years, his love for game and country made him return and continued where he had left. i am a bit disappointed that the selectors didnt give him a chance to bid the fans good bye during the 3rd ODI with India in front of a packed Harare Sports Club. Nontheless, that will not take away his brilliant pedigree and we will treasure your contribution to Zim and International cricket. hopefully you will continue with the game off the field.

    THANKS PRICEY (Razor)