New Zealand captain Aimee Watkins will retire from international cricket after her team's quadrangular series in England this summer. Watkins, whose next assignment is the three-match Rose Bowl series against Australia, said the decision was influenced by her chronic knee injury as well as a desire to do things outside of cricket.
"I've been playing internationals for ten years, so I've had a pretty good run and there are other things I want to do, including getting a full-time job," Watkins, who has led New Zealand since 2009, told The Press. "So I'm looking forward to finishing up and getting on with the next stage.
"The knee [which has troubled Watkins over the past two years] has definitely slowed me down a bit, and I do most of my training on the bike now while trying to prolong my career. I had minor surgery on it a while ago, which didn't help a lot."
An allrounder who bowls offspin, Watkins debuted for New Zealand in 2002. She has played two Tests, 98 ODIs and 32 Twenty20 internationals since. Watkins took over the captaincy after Haidee Tiffen's retirement in 2009, and has led New Zealand to the finals of both the women's World Twenty20s till date - in England in 2009 and in the Caribbean the following year.
Coach Gary Stead said that a succession plan was in place but, since New Zealand do not have any other series lined up until February next year after the completion of the England tour, there was "plenty of time to sort things out." Batsman Amy Satterthwaite has been named vice-captain for the upcoming tour, while allrounder Suzie Bates has also served as deputy in the past.
Watkins is on the cusp of making 100 ODI appearances, which she is expected to do during the Rose Bowl series. The tournament's one-day leg was called off mid-way in February this year following the Christchurch earthquake, which rocked the New Zealand team hotel. It will reconvene with three ODIs in Brisbane from June 12. The series currently stands tied at 2-2 after the four T20s that were played in December last year.