Glasgow, Mar 22 (IANS): Veteran Scotland cricketer Kyle Coetzer has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket with immediate effect. This decision comes after he accepted the post of Assistant Coach with the Northern Diamonds, one of the eight women's regional ECB hubs.
Cricket Scotland said Kyle begins his new job this week as the Diamonds squad head for a preseason training camp in Spain. After a glittering career, Kyle, 38, former Scotland captain hangs up his bat having set records aplenty, including being Scotland's highest run scorer in ODI cricket, with 3192 runs in 89 matches.
"I've been playing for Scotland since I was 11 or 12 years old, so it's been the best part of 26 years playing for my country. I can still remember the day when Peter Steindl picked me - we were sat in the scorers shed at Merchiston Castle School, and when he called out my name I just thrust my hands up in the air in celebration!"
"I don't ever think there's a perfect time for a decision like this, but I've been considering my options for some time, and an opportunity came up which was too good to turn down. The balance that the Scotland team need at this time was outweighed by the opportunity for me to move into coaching, and I'm extremely excited about the chance to work with such a high profile team," he said in an official statement.
Following 110 matches as captain in all formats of the game, Kyle stepped down as skipper last year, and now ends his playing career on a high, having been part of the squad that lifted the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League 2 Trophy in Nepal last month.
"The chance to move straight into the performance game isn't always there, and I'm fortunate that this opportunity opened up for me at this moment and I can take it on. The Northern Diamonds are one of the top sides in the country; they won the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Trophy at Lord's last season, and they've been performing pretty well in the last couple of years. To be involved with coaching a performance team at that level is really exciting," he added.
Kyle scored Scotland's first ever ODI World Cup century in 2015, attained more wins than any other Scottish captain. In a watershed moment for Scottish cricket, led his country to qualify for the Super 12s in the 2021 Men's T20 World Cup in the UAE. He was also crowned the ICC Men's Associate Cricketer of the Decade in 2020 and awarded an MBE for Services to Cricket in the same year.
"I've been so lucky throughout my Scotland career, that it's tricky to pick out a highlight. Getting our first win in the ICC T20 World Cup against Hong Kong in India in 2016 was special… but then so was the whole of 2018."
"The victory against England at The Grange was just amazing. That whole year - Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, England - just felt like a change of momentum and belief amongst the players about competing against the best teams in the world."
"Reaching the ICC T20 Super 12's in 2021, having never achieved it before, and being the captain of that squad, will also always stay with me. Creating memories, being around friends, and always finding a way to punch above our weight was just terrific. I've always loved the battle of trying to improve against all odds."
"With both the current squad and past players, it's all been so special. I must thank all the coaches and teammates and staff, and the support I've had from friends and family to help me in my career. There's been so many people all around the world who've helped me to shape me in my career, and will continue to do so," he concluded.