• News round-up

    New Zealand spinner Daniel Vettori confirmed his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday, after the side returned home from the Cricket World Cup.

    The Black Caps reached the final of the showpiece before losing to champions Australia by seven wickets, but 36-year-old Vettori performed admirably throughout the tournament, taking 15 wickets at an average of 20.46 with an economy rate of 4.04. It was enough to earn himself a place in the ICC World Cup XI.

    “It was my last game for New Zealand so it was a lovely way to finish,” he told reporters at Auckland airport. “It would have been great to win but I’m pretty proud of everyone and the way they’ve gone about things for the last six weeks. To be able to get back from a number of injuries and to be here and to be part of it … is something I’ll always treasure.”

    Vettori retires as New Zealand’s most capped Test and one-day player. He took his 300th ODI wicket during the tournament against Afghanistan in Napier, becoming the 12th bowler to achieve the mark. He finished his Test career with 362 wickets and is the second-highest Test wicket taker for New Zealand, behind Sir Richard Hadlee.

    Persistent injuries in the latter stages of his career took their toll on the left-arm spinner, but he made his debut at the age of just 18, and led the side following the retirement of Stephen Fleming in 2008 until after the 2011 World Cup.


    Pakistan batsman Azhar Ali has been named as the side’s new one-day international captain, despite the fact that he has not played ODI cricket in over two years.

    The 30-year-old replaces Misbah-ul-Haq, who retired from ODIs following Pakistan’s World Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of eventual champions Australia.

    Ali has played 14 ODIs, the most recent in January 2013, and has made four half-centuries with an average just over 40.

    He wasn’t included in the 15-man World Cup squad, but Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Shaharyar Khan insisted he had proved himself in the domestic Pentangular Cup.

    ‘Azhar Ali has been appointed captain because of his leadership skills, team spirit and character,’ Khan told reporters. ‘I know he has not been in the team in the last two years but his performance in the pentangular series proved that he deserves to be the captain.’

    Ali was also named as vice-captain for the Test side, which Misbah will continue to lead, while big-hitting all-rounder Shahid Afridi stays on as the Twenty20 skipper.

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    Tom Sizeland