Black Caps all-rounder calls it quits

South African-born New Zealand all-rounder Grant Elliott has retired from all forms of cricket.

Elliott played 17 T20Is, 83 ODIs and five Tests between 2008 and 2016 – and famously starred against his country of birth in the 2015 World Cup semi-final.

On that fateful day for the Proteas, the cool, calm and collected Elliott carried the Black Caps from a precarious 149 for four to a triumphant 299 for six in the rain-affected fixture in Auckland.

“I remember being 12 and writing down my life goals. To play in a World Cup, play international cricket and play county cricket – 27 years on and I have loved every minute of it,” Elliott wrote on Instagram.

“Thanks to all the memorable people I have met that have made this journey special. This game is a special one, but it doesn’t define us. Looking forward to the future with great excitement and sharing a drink with those selfless players I shared the changeroom with.”

A veritable journeyman, Elliott played Twenty20 cricket for the Quetta Gladiators in the Bangladesh Premier League, Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League and St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League. Surprisingly, he never represented an Indian Premier League franchise.

His South African roots, of course, were with Gauteng and Griqualand West – and his professional career ended with the Birmingham Bears in the Vitality Blast last week.

New Zealand have fielded several other South African-born cricketers in recent years, most notably Durban’s BJ Watling and Pretoria’s Neil Wagner. Cape Town’s Michael Rippon, who has played ODI and T20I cricket for the Netherlands, is pursuing a Black Caps career, too.