Aaron Finch announces retirement from T20Is, ends Australia career
He departs as Australia's leading men's run-scorer in the format and led them to the 2021 T20 World Cup
Aaron Finch has announced his retirement from T20Is, bringing an end to his Australia career, meaning there will be a new captain when the team next take the field later this year.
The move had been expected following Finch's decision to quit ODIs late last year and a significant gap until Australia's next T20Is following the home World Cup where they failed to make the semi-finals.
After that tournament, where Finch missed the final game against Afghanistan due to injury, he said he would take to assess his future during the BBL. He enjoyed a successful tournament for Melbourne Renegades, where he made 428 runs at 38.90, but has decided he won't push through to August when Australia next play T20Is in South Africa.
Finch captained the team to their first T20 World Cup title when they defeated New Zealand in Dubai during 2021.
"Realising that I won't be playing on until the next T20 World Cup in 2024, now is the right moment step down and give the team time to plan and build towards that event," Finch said.
"I'd like to thank my family, especially my wife Amy, my team-mates, Cricket Victoria, Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association for their support to allow me to play the game I love at the highest level. I also want to say a huge thank you to all the fans who have supported me throughout my international career.
"Team success is what you play the game for and the maiden T20 World Cup win in 2021 and lifting the ODI World Cup on home soil in 2015 will be the two memories I cherish the most.
"To be able to represent Australia for 12 years and play with and against some of the greatest players of all time has been an incredible honour."
Finch leaves as Australia's leading men's run-scorer in the format with 3120 at 34.28 and a strike-rate of 142.53. His high score of 172, made against Zimbabwe in 2018, is the highest T20I innings of all-time - a record he also held with his 156 against England in 2013.
Although Finch was not the force of old by last year's World Cup his T20I form did not slide away in the same way as his ODI returns although there was a notable reduction in his strike-rate over the final two years of his career.
He will continue to play with Renegades and said he would take up other domestic T20 opportunities if they were offered.
"As one of only four men's players to captain Australia to a World Cup victory, Aaron will always have a special place in Australian Cricket's history," Cricket Australia chair, Dr Lachlan Henderson, said. "Playing at the highest level for over a decade requires incredible determination and dedication, so we thank Aaron for his enormous contribution and wish him all the best in the next phase of his career."
There is no rush for Australia to appoint a new T20I captain with the men's team next in action on a tour to South Africa in late August. There is no obvious standout candidate with Pat Cummins unlikely to be considered for all three roles. Matthew Wade led the side in the final World Cup game against Afghanistan when Finch was injured but his career may also have finished if Australia opt to look to the future.
Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa, two of the leading white-ball bowlers in the world, offer intriguing options while Steven Smith, whose recent BBL form showed he should still command a place in the team, could be in the frame.
A further left-field candidate could be Ashton Turner, the hugely successful Perth Scorchers captain, who had an outstanding BBL with bat and as a leader this season albeit his stop-start international career is underwhelming.