Tribute To Aaron Finch: The Selfless One Day & T20I Specialist That Can’t Be Summarised In One Day
Tribute to Aaron Finch: Aaron Finch, who led Australia to their first ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title in 2021 happened in UAE, called time on his international cricket career on Tuesday. Finch, Australian Men’s T20 Captain, announced his retirement from all international cricket, 12 years after making his debut.
Though Aaron Finch has an experience of 146 ODI’s to his name, he’s actually batted in 141, to be precise. Aaron Finch captained Cricket Australia in 76 T20 Internationals, leading the team to a maiden ICC Men`s T20 World Cup title in 2021. He finishes his career as a two-time World Cup winner having been a part of the squad that claimed the 50-over ICC Cricket World Cup title on home soil in 2015.
Finch announced his retirement from all international cricket 12 years after making his debut. Having retired from One-Day Internationals in September 2022 after playing 146 matches, Finch has now decided to step away from T20 Internationals after playing 103 matches, where he averaged 34.28 at a strike rate of 142.5.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley paid tribute to Finch, calling the two-time World Cup winner a “master tactician, a natural born leader.
“Team success is what you play the game for and the maiden T20 World Cup win in 2021 and lifting the ODI World Cup on home soil in 2015 will be the two memories I cherish the most”.
“To be able to represent Australia for 12 years and play with and against some of the greatest players of all time has been an incredible honour,” – Finch
Cricket Australia Chair, Dr Lachlan Henderson said: “On behalf of Cricket Australia, I`d like to congratulate Aaron on an exceptional international career, where he finishes as one of our finest white-ball players. In full flight, there were few batters more powerful than Aaron, illustrated by the fact he holds two of the three highest-ever scores in T20 International cricket.
“While he was a tough competitor on the field, Aaron always played the game with a smile on his face and in the right spirit. This earned him the respect of his teammates, opposition players and fans from around the world,” he was quoted as saying in the release.
“As one of only four mens players to captain Australia to a World Cup victory, Aaron will always have a special place in Australian Crickets history”
“Playing at the highest level for over a decade requires incredible determination and dedication, so we thank Aaron for his enormous contribution and wish him all the best in the next phase of his career,” Henderson said.
In 47 of these, he’s hit either a fifty or registered a tally above the milestone.
Mathematically speaking, Aaron Finch struck a fifty or a fifty plus score in every third ODI inning he played.
Not too bad for a player who wasn’t bad at all by Australian standards, where the prime focus, unlike India, rests on what one’s done; not one’s personality.
Interestingly, Finch has been around since 2013 and as his one day journey comes to an end, he ends the longer of the two white ball formats with a batting average of almost 40 and a strike rate that’s closer to 90.
No one, it mustn’t be forgotten, told Aaron Finch that he mustn’t continue.
Absolutely no one told Aaron Finch that there’s a chance he might not reach his 150th one dayer, such a milestone for any cricketer, let alone one belonging to a hyper competitive cricketing outfit known for accomplishment and excellence.
Yet, in stepping away from the limited overs format, Aaron Finch has done exactly what he did all along in a decade long stint for Australia: shown selflessness.
In an age where it seems not a single day passes by without one doesn’t vaguely use the term “empowerment,” Aaron Finch was a selfless cricketer who empowered his side.
Finch finest hour for Australian one day cricket, it ought to be noted, came at the back of a plan that was essentially meant not for him; but for a colleague of his.
In assuming the one day leadership, circa 2018, Finch had replaced Tim Paine, whose then job became easier as with Finch taking charge of the white-ball leadership, Paine could focus solely on Tests.
Over the course of what has been an exciting, enduring and not to say the least, rewarding one day journey, Aaron Finch became a World Cup winner and oversaw some of the finest talents rise to their full potential.
Think Josh Haxlewood, forget not Pat Cummins, remember Alex Carey, Ashton Agar, Adam Zampa, Marcus Stoinis and Nathan Coulter-Nile.
As a batsman Finch leaves the 50-over format as quite that Motorsport car, probably F1, that’s extremely capable, dauntless and always in a rush.
As a captain, Finch exits the scene as cricketer whose leadership complemented his style of batting: commanding, yet easy-going.
At a time where boasting – not necessarily possessing- the best physique was pegged as the tool for a cricketer’s success, Aaron Finch broke the robotic requirement, so to speak, by putting the ferocious power of his forearm into good practice instead of showing ‘em off through Insta reels.
Where cricketers chewed their opponents using not-so-pleasant words, Aaron Finch chose to chew gum.
You didn’t sledge “Finchy”.
Not because he was some saint; forget not that all his life he’s been a competitive Australian, not the easiest of characters to subdue or overcome.
But it’s probably down to the fact that Finch played the sport for the love of it, not to exhibit vitriol or create some angry empire run on anarchy where cricketers practice the sport for revenge.
And maybe that is the finest contribution of Finch that, much like his excellent white ball credentials in limited overs cricket, runs the risk of being overlooked or going under appreciated.
That he was a cricketer who played for good, not for revenge.
And when he could so easily have showed off his supremacy for supremacy it was – nearly 2000 of his 5400 ODI runs came in 2019 and 2020- Finch was stranger to arrogance.
During this time, Finch fired a third of his ODI centuries; scoring six of his seventeen in 2019 and 2020 (cumulatively speaking).
Not a cricketer who’d do the sham job of occupying someone else’s spot in a team that needed pure excellence, something that on recent account Finch failed to live up to, the captain decided to move on.
It’s a mark of his respect to a sport and a format that cultivated his under-appreciated legend.
Which is why as Finch has decided to step away from one dayers, he appears content not stuffed with the greed of being unable to accept his own inadequacies.
And that is how his deeds ought to be remembered: as a cricketer who entertained and created a difference his own way; without ever lusting after the desire of being some social media superstar who cajoles fanboys as seen in today’s era.
The right hander exclaimed, “It has been a fantastic ride with some incredible memories.”
“Realising that I won’t be playing on until the next T20 World Cup in 2024, now is the right moment to step down and give the team time to plan and build towards that event,” Finch saying at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
“I have been extremely fortunate to be a part of some brilliant one-day and T20 sides. Equally, I have been blessed by all those I have played with and the many people behind the scenes.” – Tribute to Aaron Finch