Tri-nation T20I series: Hamilton Masakadza retires with final hurrah in face-saving win for Zimbabwe, says he has 'no regrets'

The 36-year-old Masakadza was given a guard of honour by both sides as he came in to bat and then hit 71 off 42 balls to take Zimbabwe to an impressive seven-wicket victory

Agence France-Presse, Sep 21, 2019 13:14:02 IST

Chittagong: Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza could not hold back the tears when announcing to his players that Friday's match against Afghanistan would be his last in international cricket.

The 36-year-old was given a guard of honour by both sides as he came in to bat in Chittagong and then hit 71 off 42 balls to take Zimbabwe to an impressive seven-wicket victory — their first over Afghanistan — in T20 cricket.

Masakadza ended his 18-year international career with a blistering knock which consisted of five sixes and four fours.

"Obviously it was super special. To lead the team to the win was really special," he said on Friday.

Masakadza, who has played a key role in Zimbabwe's faltering progress in international cricket since making his debut in 2001, acknowledged that the emotions had gotten the better of him before the game even started.

"I started tearing a little bit in the morning trying to get through the team talk with the boys," he said. "I am not someone who wears his heart on his sleeve but I think this is the one thing that brought a few emotions out of me."

"Even when I tried to tell the guys and the team before I made the official announcement, I barely got through three sentences so it's been a really emotional time for me," he said.

Masakadza set a world record on his debut against the West Indies when he became the youngest Test centurion at 17 years and 254 days. His record survived barely three months before being broken by Bangladesh's Mohammad Ashraful.

He was also Zimbabwe's first black player to score a first-class century.

Masakadza later took a three-year break in his international career to pursue studies and returned with the national team in turmoil over players' disputes with the national federation.

The troubles affected his career and he had to wait until 2011 to score his second Test century, against Bangladesh, after Zimbabwe ended a five-year self-exile from Test cricket.

Masakadza, who played 38 Tests, 209 ODIs and 66 T20Is said he was leaving with no bitterness.

"I have been going through a lot of emotions today, but regret is not one of them. I am really thankful, thankful to the board for giving me the chance to play for as long as I have," he said.

Friday's game was Zimbabwe's last in the three-nation series. Bangladesh will play Afghanistan in the final on Tuesday.

Updated Date: Sep 21, 2019 13:14:02 IST

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
6 New Zealand 4784 252