Pieter Seelaar announces retirement from international cricket due to persistent back injury


Amsterdam, June 20 : The Netherlands captain Pieter Seelaar, who missed his side's second ODI against England on Sunday through injury, has announced his shock retirement from international cricket due to a persistent back injury. Wicketkeeper Scott Edwards, who was Netherlands stand-in captain for their match against England, will take over the captaincy mantle from all-rounder Seelaar. "Since 2020 my back problems got worse to such an extent that -- much to my regret -- I am no longer able to give everything I've got," said Seelaar in a statement on his decision to quit the international cricket circuit when England were on their way of successfully chasing 239. Seelaar, 34, made his debut for the Netherlands in 2006. In 2018, he succeeded Peter Borren as captain of the side after he announced his retirement from the game. Seelaar was primarily known as an accurate, economical and effective left-arm spinner who worked hard on his batting through the years and earned a place in the Dutch middle-order apart from captaining the Netherlands in winning the qualification tournament at the UAE in 2019 for the 2021 Men's T20 World Cup and against major sides in ODI cricket. In 57 ODI appearances, Seelaar took 57 wickets at an average of 35.68 and an economy rate of 4.67 while making 347 runs with the bat. In T20I cricket, he played 77 matches and picked 58 wickets at an average of 22.24 and an economy rate of 6.83 while scoring 591 runs with the bat, including an unbeaten 96. He ends up his international career as the Netherlands' most-capped T20I cricketer (77) and their leading wicket-taker in the format (58) apart from being their joint-highest ODI wicket-taker (57) alongside Mudassar Bukhari. He has played over 300 games for them in all formats across a 17-year career. "Pieter's input has been priceless, first as a player and later also as a captain. His management style is open, honest and transparent, which has always been appreciated by the players. He can look back upon a wonderful international career that unfortunately comes to an untimely end. We wish him the very best for the future," said Roland Lefebvre, High-Performance Manager. Seelaar was a member of the Netherlands side that defeated England at the Lord's in the opening match of the Men's T20 World Cup in 2009 at the Lord's. In that memorable match for the Dutch, he took the wicket of then-England skipper, Paul Collingwood and the penguin dance he did after the dismissal. He was also a part of the Netherlands team in defeating England again at Chattogram in Bangladesh in 2014, during the Men's T20 World Cup. /IANS


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