“It was a fantastic ride with incredible memories,” said Finch. “I’ve been extremely lucky to be part of some brilliant one-day sides. Likewise, I’ve been blessed by all those I’ve played with and the many people behind the scenes.
“It is now time to give a new leader the best possible chance to prepare for and win the next World Cup. I thank everyone who has helped and supported my journey to this point.”
He had his sights set on making the ODI World Cup in India in 2023 his swan song, but will now look to defend the T20 title on home soil in what could be the final stage of his international career after Australia wins the trophy for first claimed last. year.
Australia has eight T20Is (plus an extra warm-up game against India) for Finch to try to find form before starting their T20 World Cup campaign against New Zealand on October 22 at the SCG.
He made his debut against Sri Lanka at the MCG in 2013 and scored his maiden century against Scotland later that year when he hit 148. His best of 153 not out came against Pakistan in Sharjah in March 2019 at a time when he had emerged from a meager form that had raised questions about him ahead of that year’s ODI World Cup. He scored four ODI hundreds in 2019 as he amassed 1141 runs.
He had a particularly impressive record against Pakistan (49.16, two hundred), England (average 48.35, seven hundred) and India (48.66, four hundred).
Finch was initially named captain of the T20I in 2014, but on the eve of the 2016 World Cup the job was handed over to Steven Smith as the role was consolidated across the three formats and he was left out at the start of the tournament.
He was named the permanent white-ball captain following the fallout from the 2018 ball-mess scandal, which saw Smith banned. He led Australia to the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup in England before being badly beaten by the hosts.
“On behalf of Australian Cricket, I would like to congratulate Aaron on his tremendous contribution as captain of the Australian Men’s ODI team and as a great exponent of the 50-over-format,” said Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley.
“Aaron is a tremendously gifted and determined player whose outstanding deeds with the bat have been matched by his strong and inspiring leadership. His decision to now step down from the ODI captain is typical of his selfless approach to the game.
“I am delighted that Aaron will lead the Australian team to the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, where his leadership, experience and tactical knowledge will be integral to the defense of our T20 World Cup title on home soil.”
Whoever takes over the ODI captain from Finch will start immediately after the T20 World Cup with a series against England, which has no Super League points. Alex Carey will likely be a frontrunner for the job that replaced Finch last year, although whether Finch also finishes in the T20s after the World Cup will be another factor if Australia wants the same captaincy across all formats. Carey is not currently part of the T20 side.
A return for Smith could be an option, while Mitchell Marsh may be under consideration. An outsider could be Josh Hazlewood, who was the vice-captain and is now one of the leading white ball bowlers in the world. Glenn Maxwell’s name will likely be thrown into the mix as well.
Test Captain Pat Cummins has previously indicated that it would probably be too demanding to take on any other leadership role. There is also the factor that it is limited overs cricket that he will sometimes rest from.
Andrew McGlashan is deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo