Michael di Venuto retires from County cricket

Michael di Venuto played only nine One-Day Internationals for Australia AFP

London: Jul 10, 2012

Australia‘s Michael di Venuto has retired from English county cricket with immediate effect, the Durham batsman said Monday.

The 38-year-old left-hander who previously played county cricket for Sussex and Derbyshire, joined north-east side Durham in 2007 and helped the club win the domestic 50-over trophy, their first major piece of silverware, in his first season at the Riverside.

Such was Australia’s batting strength in the prime of his career, Di Venuto was restricted to just nine One-Day Internationals, all in 1997, and never played Test cricket.

However, he played a key role in helping Durham win back-to-back first-class County Championship titles, including a huge haul of 1,654 runs, with two double hundreds, when they won the competition for a second time in 2009.

But di Venuto has struggled for runs this season, averaging under 30, with Durham bottom of the First Division table.

“My body won’t allow me to prepare and play the way I want,” he said in a Durhan statement. “I set high standards for myself and if I was to continue playing then it would be below these standards.

“While I know I still have some quality short form cricket in me, the day in, day out nature of first-class cricket I physically can’t do anymore.”

Durham coach Geoff Cook praised di Venuto by saying: “Michael has been a prolific run scorer for the club during his time here and is a much respected player, who will be greatly missed.

“He has proved to be a real inspiration on the field and the knowledge and guidance he has shared with our squad, especially the batsmen, has encouraged growth within the side.

“Michael should be incredibly proud of his time here at Durham and we wish him all the very best with his future endeavours.” (AFP)