Aussie Martin Love to retire from cricket (Lead)

February 24th, 2009 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Feb 24 (IANS) Australian Martin Love, who scored a hundred in his last Test innings, has decided to call it a day.
Queensland’s biggest run scorer said he had no regrets, despite being dropped from the 2003 Test side after scoring an unbeaten ton.

“Obviously it was disappointing but… there was not much more that I could have done,” Love was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph Tuesday.

“At that stage, I knew I was only covering for (an injured) Damien Martyn. And after that I think I broke another finger which set me back again, and the rest is history.”

Queensland’s Shield clash with New South Wales (NSW) starting Thursday will mark Love’s Gabba swansong.

In the end, Love’s body had simply had enough after 16 seasons.

“It’s always tough to decide that now’s the time but I am listening to my body at the moment,” Love said in Brisbane.

“And after seven operations and countless broken fingers, my body is telling me it’s had enough.”

Love is the last surviving member of Queensland’s first victorious Sheffield Shield team.

Love follows in the footsteps of fellow veteran Andy Bichel — another member of the 1994-95 Shield-winning team who recently called stumps.

Love played just five Tests, amassing 233 runs at 46.60 with his sole 100 in that final match against Bangladesh in July 2003.

Love’s stellar state career started as an 18-year-old in the 1992-93 Shield final, coinciding with Queensland cricket’s most successful era. He enjoyed success in five Shield finals.

But it seems nothing could beat the historic maiden title 14 years ago — an achievement that still brings a smile to Love’s face.

“One of the things that does stand out for me was the ticker-tape parade through the city (after the win) - that was actually my 21st birthday,” he said.

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