Cricket Ireland announced today that Andre Botha has retired from the international game.
The 35 year old has played no fewer than 141 times for his country, although injury has restricted his appearances in recent seasons.
In a glittering career which coincided with Ireland’s emergence on the global stage, Andre Botha scored 3606 runs at an average of 27.74, which puts him sixth in the all-time aggregate list. He scored 13 half centuries and six hundreds, with a highest score of 186 against Scotland in 2007.
Botha also holds the record partnership for Ireland – 360 for the third wicket with Eoin Morgan against The UAE in 2007.
He also excelled with the ball for Ireland, taking 176 wickets an average of just 21.99, which sees him occupy eighth place on the all-time rankings. His
best bowling figures of 4 for 19 came against Kenya in an ODI in 2008, but it will be his spell of 2 for 5 in the 2007 World Cup win against Pakistan for
which he is best remembered.
He explained just why he had decided to retire saying: “I have given this matter serious and long consideration, but ultimately have come to the conclusion thatthe time is right now. I can assure you it’s a matter I haven’t taken lightly, but sometimes your body makes up your mind for you.
“I’d like to put on record my thanks to Warren Deutrom and all of the Cricket Ireland staff. You have all been a great help and support during my time playing
for Ireland. Although I don’t want single out individuals for fear of forgetting somebody, forgive me if I do. There are a few people I would like to give a
special mention to. Adi Birrell was there at start of my international career, and I will never have enough words to thank and praise this man for what he did
for myself and Irish Cricket.
“I would also like to thank the current coach Phil Simmons for his support and help over the last number of years and assistant coach Pete Johnston for all his
hard work behind the scenes. That’s not to forget my two best friends in Irish cricket, physios Knoxy (Iain Knox) and Kieran (O’Reilly). You two certainly
earned your money over the years!!! Finally who can forget Roy Torrens – many a problem sorted out over a quiet drink or two (sorry Roy!!)
“To the older heads that have been with me from the start of my journey TJ, JB, Kylie, Whitey, Mooners ,Polish, John Boy, Nobby, Kev, Purdy, Boyd & Lanky(Lanky
thanks for getting me in so much trouble over the years!). It’s been a great journey – we achieved dreams that many thought impossible. To the rest of the
players who played with me for Ireland -it’s been fantastic – keep it going.
“It’s hard to pick a special memory from my Irish career, as every time I have put on the green jersey has been a personal highlight. I just want to thank some
of my very close friends for their support and belief over the years – you know who you are.
“Lastly and most importantly to my lovely wife Yvonne for all the sacrifices she has made on behalf of my cricket career – thank you so much. Love you. I hope I
didn’t forget anybody – if I did, I apologise. Keep fighting the fight for 2015.”
Ireland coach Phil Simmons led the tributes to Andre Botha saying: “Andre has been an integral part of this Irish team’s success since his debut way back in
2001. He will be sorely missed, not only for his cleverly disguised slower balls or his trademark square cuts, but for his total dedication to the cause and the
team. His courage continuing to represent Ireland with the different injuries he’s endured over the last couple of years has been incredible, and shows just
what a big heart he has.
“On behalf of the Irish team I want to wish Andre all the best for the future, and I hope his invaluable experience will not be lost to Irish cricket.”
Former coach Adrian Birrell praised Botha’s role in Irish cricket reaching tenth place in the world rankings saying: ”There comes a time for every player and
sadly Andre has decided this is the right time to retire. He has been a colossal player for Ireland in the past decade.
“I had the great good fortune that Andre had completed his qualification terms when I arrived and he became one of the major players around whom I built the
team during my tenure as National Coach. His all round ability was invaluable and he made many match winning contributions. His ability to take care of the
back end of the power plays and the partnership with Kyle McCallan in building pressure in the middle overs was crucial to our success.
“I remember vividly his runs securing our future in defeating Denmark in 2002, the great victory winning the ICC Intercontinental Cup against Kenya in 2005 and
his record partnership with Eoin Morgan against UAE in 2007 which paved the way for the successful 2007 World Cup campaign, and who can forget his spell in the
famous Pakistan victory.
“I value Andre as a cricketer and more importantly as a friend. I have no doubt he will continue to make a contribution to Cricket Ireland. Congratulations
Andre on a great career – your contribution to Irish Cricket will be remembered and appreciated for a very long time.’