Mathew Sinclair, the Central Districts batsman who played 33 Tests for New Zealand, has announced his retirement from all cricket. Sinclair, 37, has been a fixture in the Central Districts side for 18 seasons and is the team's all-time highest run-scorer, with more than 15,000 runs across all formats, and he remained a solid performer last summer, with 646 Plunket Shield runs at 40.37.
He burst on to the Test cricket scene with 214 on debut against West Indies in Wellington in 1999-2000, still the highest score by a New Zealand Test debutant and the equal third-highest from all countries. However, despite posting another Test double-century against Pakistan less than two years later, Sinclair struggled to find consistency at international level.
His 33 Tests were spread across 11 years and his last appearance for his country came against Australia in Hamilton in early 2010, when he was recalled for the first time in two years. Sinclair also played 54 one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals, as well as helping Central Districts win eight domestic trophies.
"Having taken a few months since the end of last season to consider my options I have decided that the timing is right to call time on my playing career," Sinclair said. "I have two young children and a wife who I want to spend more time with and the constant travel that the Stags endure each year makes that pretty tough.
"I am also at the stage where I want to get into a career outside of cricket and unless you are in a position to totally devote yourself, it's difficult to get the opportunities that I am after. There are some really talented younger batsmen coming through for CD, so I feel it's the right time from the team's perspective as well.
"Central Districts has been good to me and I never really considered playing for anyone else. We have always played a positive style of game, and the quality of the people in the side meant that there was always a great team spirit. My first hundred for the Stags was really special as it helped win a game and proved that I could succeed at that level.
"Watching Peter Ingram beat my record for the highest individual score for the Stags, Jamie How's double hundred in a one day game and Michael Mason's heroics with the bat to win the Ford Trophy two seasons ago are special moments that I will also cherish.
"While it would have been nice to have played more for my country, I do look back on my time in the Black Caps with a lot of pride and satisfaction. Getting 214 on debut against the West Indies was a real highlight; especially as we went on to win the Test."
Sinclair will end his career with more first-class runs for a single association - 9148 - than any other player in New Zealand, as well as a record 27 first-class centuries for Central Districts. On four occasions he was the leading run scorer in the New Zealand first-class competition, in 1998-99, 2005-06, 2008-09 and 2011-12.
"It's hard to put into words the contribution that Mathew has made to Central Districts," Hugh Henderson, the Central Districts chief executive, said. "In years to come his run scoring records will still stand and people will look back at him as an all-time great of the domestic game in this country.
"It is remarkable that in a career of such length that Mathew never really had a poor season, he just kept scoring runs. It's unlikely there will be another player like him in our history. On behalf of Central Districts we would like to thank him wholeheartedly for his contribution to the game and our association. We wish him all the best in the next stages of his career outside of cricket."