Allrounder Grant Elliott, who starred in New Zealand's historic win in the 2015 World Cup semi-final, has quit all forms of cricket after finishing his stint as the captain of Birmingham Bears in the Vitality Blast in England. After finishing sixth in the North Group in the T20 tournament and not being able to qualify for the quarter-finals, Elliott announced his retirement on his Instagram account on Tuesday evening.
"Started in Johannesburg finished in Birmingham," his post read. "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. Thanks to all the memorable people I have met that have made this journey special. To family and friends who have given me unwavering support despite all the sacrifices I have had to make that have impacted them.
"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 a change room with."
Elliott's form this year in the Blast was highlighted by his bowling performance, being the leading wicket-taker of his team with 19 scalps from 14 innings with an average of 19.57 and economy rate of 7.91. With the bat, he managed only 80 runs in 10 innings.
Elliott, 39, had signed with the Bears last year when he retired from international cricket and signed a Kolpak deal to play in the T20 tournament only. He had earlier retired from ODIs in 2016, two days after New Zealand were knocked out of the World T20 by England in the semi-final.
He continued as a T20 specialist to represent Lahore Qalandars in the Pakistan Super League, Chittagong Vikings in the Bangladesh Premier League, Wellington in New Zealand's domestic T20s (Super Smash), and was part of the World XI squad that toured Pakistan almost a year ago for three T20 internationals.
Born in Johannesburg, Elliott began his first-class career more than 20 years ago, in South Africa in 1996-97. He then moved to New Zealand in 2001 in search of new challenges and made his international debut for New Zealand in 2008. He played five Tests, 83 ODIs and 17 T20Is. His six off Dale Steyn in the dying moments of the rain-curtailed 2015 World Cup semi-final will probably be the highlight of his career. He top-scored with 83 in the final too, against Australia, but New Zealand finished runners-up.