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New Zealand seamer Chris Martin retires from all forms of cricket with immediate effect

Chris Martin: Was a cult figure for his lack of ability with the bat

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New Zealand paceman Chris Martin has announced his retirement from all first-class cricket with immediate effect.

The 38-year-old played the last of his 71 Test matches against South Africa in January, finishing his career with 233 Test wickets at an average of 33.81 - third in the all-time list for New Zealand bowlers.

He also played in 20 one-day internationals and six Twenty20 internationals, although he has not featured in limited-overs cricket since 2008.

Martin achieved legendary status for his lack of ability with the bat, scoring only 123 runs in 104 Test innings at an average of 2.36 and reaching double figures only once, while his 36 Test ducks are second only to Courtney Walsh.

His best Test performance with the ball came against South Africa in 2004, when he claimed match figures of 11-180 in a famous victory for the Black Caps in Auckland.

"Wearing the silver fern has brought me a huge amount of pride and will be something I'll always cherish."

Chris Martin

"It feels like the right time to step down," said Martin, who has also played county cricket for Warwickshire and Essex.

"I have loved every second and given it everything when playing for the Black Caps, but after 15 years of professional cricket, it's time to pursue a new challenge.

"I want to thank my family, all those at New Zealand Cricket, Auckland Cricket and Canterbury Cricket for their help and support over the years.

"Wearing the silver fern has brought me a huge amount of pride and will be something I'll always cherish.

"Representing the Black Caps has been a massive privilege, and playing with a group of guys who're so passionate about doing well for their country has been very special."

New Zealand coach Mike Hesson said: "The way Chris goes about his business both on and off the field has made him one of the most respected players in the changing room.

"With over 200 test wickets, his stats speak for themselves, but his knowledge and experience make his presence in the group so important.

"He's been a great role model for younger team mates and will be sorely missed. We wish him all the best for the future."

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