Colin Smith, the Scotland wicketkeeper, has announced his retirement from international cricket. Smith, 36, took the decision after the coach Pete Steindl informed him he didn't figure in the team's plans for the ICC Intercontinental Cup, starting on July 2 in Aberdeen.
"Pete told me he wants to build the team for the challenges of four years' time, and no-one can criticise him for that," he said. "I wanted to be involved with the World Cup qualifier in South Africa and the World Twenty20 in England. Now that these competitions are over, there seemed no reason to delay making my decision public.
"I have had some great times, and shared in good results with my team-mates over the past ten years. I remain astonished that an amateur cricketer like me can have the opportunity to play against every world-class nation, and most of their world-class players, on some of the most beautiful grounds in the world. It wouldn't happen in any other sport, and I have been greatly privileged by the experience."
Smith, the country's most capped wicketkeeper, was omitted from the Scotland squad for the Friends Provident Trophy in England but was recalled for the ICC World Twenty20, where he failed to impress, making two ducks.
He represented his country in 27 ODIs since 2006, scoring 432 runs and took 22 catches and 11 stumpings. He has also played eight Twenty20 internationals.
Smith, who works as a policeman in Aberdeen, said he would continue to play club cricket though. "I have no complaints about what I have achieved. I've been lucky to play against all the major countries and all the best players on the biggest stages in the world during the last decade," he said.
"In football terms, it's like an amateur playing against Brazil at the Maracana or Spain in the Bernabeu. That sort of thing just doesn't happen, but it shows there are still fantastic opportunities in cricket. I've played in World Cups, but the best memory I have is of our first month as the Saltires in the Totesport League.
"We beat Durham, Somerset and Lancashire in the space of a few weeks and these results completely changed our self-belief."
Euan McIntyre, the Scotland team manager and director of operations for Cricket Scotland said Smith had been an outstanding member of the squad for all these years, and an object lesson to all who would seek to follow him. "He has contributed hugely to our successes, with gloves and with bat," McIntyre said. "He has earned his place in the pantheon of great Scottish cricketers, and I feel sure he will look back with satisfaction on a career of exceptional achievement."