Mathew Sinclair, who made a double century on his test debut for New Zealand, has announced his retirement from all cricket at age 37.
Sinclair who is married with two children - son Liam, 4, and daughter Holly, 3 - told the Manawatu Evening Standard he had applied for unemployment benefits because he now has no job.
He said he had no choice but to seek welfare because he could not feed a family on what he earned as a first class cricketer, paid for only six months of the year.
"The reality is this is what it's like," Sinclair said. "It has been quite a tough decision to make.
"It has been very hard to look for some sort of meaningful employment."
Australian-born Sinclair, who played 33 tests and 54 one-day internationals, made 214 on test debut against the West Indies in 1999; then the second-highest total by a debuting batsman.
Though he made 204 against Pakistan the following season and was a prolific scorer in first class cricket - with more than 13,000 runs - Sinclair struggled to command a regular place in New Zealand's team.
He was dropped from the New Zealand contract list in 2007, though he was recalled for one test against Australia in 2010.