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Cricket news - Luke Woodcock calls time on 17-year long career

Woodcock played four ODI and three T20Is in 2011.

Luke Woodcock, a 17-season veteran for Wellington and a former New Zealand cricketer, has decided to call it a day after the Firebirds' final Plunket Shield match against Canterbury starting on Sunday (March 17).

Woodcock spoke to his team members after their loss to Otago and informed them about the decision. "You always get told that you'll know when things are coming to an end and in all honesty, I never really believed that," he said in a statement.

"But over the last six to nine months things have started to kick in around that final stage of my career and the decision not to play in the Ford Trophy this year was probably a sign it was time to call it a day."

Woodcock, a handy left-arm spinner and a gifted batsman, made his debut for Wellington in 2001 at the age of 19 and nine years later he got the opportunity to represent New Zealand. He went on to play four ODIs and three T20Is. In November 2017, Woodcock played his 128th first-class match for Wellington and achieved the record for the highest first-class appearance for a single team by any player in New Zealand.

Firebirds head coach Bruce Edgar appreciated Woodcock's effort towards Wellington cricket and said: "Woody's impact on cricket in Wellington has been felt at local level all the way through to the Firebirds. He's always been committed and passionate to play club cricket and be part of the community and he has represented our values strongly."

Jeetan Patel, the New Zealand cricketer and a teammate, too praised Woodcock efforts. "Woody's such a huge presence in our changing room, he connects really well with the younger guys and has a good connection with the older guys and I don't think you can ever fully replace a character like that."

Woodcock won several trophies for Wellington, he was the part of the Wellington team that last won the first-class title in 2004. He played an imperative role in Wellington's Twenty20 triumph in 2015 and 2017 and was also a significant member of the team which won Ford trophy in 2014.

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