Nicky Boje retires from international cricket

The SA spinner says his decision comes from the desire to concentrate on his domestic career.

india Updated: Dec 13, 2006 15:56 IST

South African spinner Nicky Boje, who skipped two tours of India fearing arrest over match-fixing charges, announced his retirement from international cricket on Tuesday.

The 33-year-old bowler said his decision stemmed from the desire to concentrate on his domestic career.

"I have decided to retire from international cricket immediately and I am accordingly unavailable to form part of the Proteas squad for this season," the left-arm tweaker said in a statement released by the South African Cricketers' Association, of which he is the president.

The announcement came as a surprise since he had been recalled last week to the South African squad for the first cricket Test against India after almost two years in wilderness.

Boje said he felt the time had come for him to devote the remainder of his playing years to Eagles, the team he represents in domestic cricket.

"I have had eleven years of international cricket and will always cherish wonderful memories of playing for South Africa.

"I now feel that the time has come for me to devote the remainder of my playing years to Eagles cricket. I wish my former team mates in the Proteas side the very best for the future and I'm confident that the team has a very bright cricketing future," he said in the statement.

He was overlooked for the Champions Trophy in India amid controversy over his alleged role in the match-fixing scandal of 2000 being investigated by Delhi Police.

While Gibbs made himself available for questioning, Boje is still to give his statement to Delhi Police.

Captaining the Eagles in South African domestic cricket, Boje leads the bowling statistics with 17 wickets from the three matches his side have played this season. He is well-placed in the batting list too with 272 runs at an average of 54.40.

The national selectors are expected to name a replacement for Boje in the 15-member squad soon with the first Test beginningon Friday.

First Published: Dec 13, 2006 15:56 IST