Michael Papps, the first man to score 10,000 runs in the Plunket Shield, has called time on his playing days. The 38-year old retires having played 20 seasons of domestic cricket, representing Canterbury and later Wellington.
Papps was part of eight Tests and six ODIs for New Zealand and is a much loved figure in the country and he saluted the people on his way out. “The personal and collective triumphs, the runs scored, the days in the dirt, and the games won and lost are all memories I will take away, but most of all it will be the people, the teams I’ve played for, both here and overseas, and the great friends I have made that I will cherish the most.”
Papps’ crowning moment was in the season gone by, when he became the oldest triple-centurion since World War II, and the first ever for Wellington, when he made an unbeaten 316 against Auckland in October. Speaking about the effort to reporters, he said, “I was just hoping to get off the mark and anything else was a bonus.”
Papps began his career with Canterbury in the 1998-99 season, scoring 6,663 runs for them, including 19 centuries. He moved to Wellington in 2010-11 and also captained them, adding a further 4837 runs to his tally and smashing 13 more centuries. In List A cricket, he played 166 matches and struck 5810 to go with 12 hundreds and 32 fifties.
“I would like to thank the Canterbury Cricket Association for teaching me the game and giving me the best grounding a young cricketer could possibly receive, and to Cricket Wellington for enabling me to expand my horizons and providing me with a new challenge,” Papps said.
New Zealand Cricket CEO David White praised Papps’ contribution to the game, saying, “to make over 12,000 first-class runs over 20 seasons, Michael’s contribution to cricket has been immense. I want to congratulate him for a brilliant career and on behalf of NZC wish him all the best for the future.”