Zimbabwe, Mashonaland Eagles and former Worcestershire left-arm spinner Ray Price has announced his retirement from professional cricket at the age of 37.
Price played 140 times for his country across the three formats of the international game and will be best remembered as a fierce competitor, who in the words of current national captain Brendan Taylor always played “with his heart on his sleeve.”
Price’s retirement comes as no surprise. He has steadily drifted out of the equation for the national side over the past few months as younger spinners such as Nastai Mushangwe, Tino Mutombodzi and Graeme Cremer have been preferred. Indeed, confusion surrounded his place in the squad for the ongoing ODI series against India and was only confirmed by national coach Andy Waller shortly before the start. It had then been expected that he would be given the chance of a farewell game after informing the management of his decision to retire, but that will apparently not happen and he has said that he will not travel with the team to Bulawayo for the final two games.
As with many of Zimbabwe’s cricketers over the past decade or so, Price has had his fair share of run-ins with the game’s administrators. He even hinted in an interview with the Hindustan Times that recent differences may have contributed to his decision to retire now.
Price was part of the faction of players that broke away with Heath Streak’s ‘rebel’ cricketers in 2004 and were ostracised by the politicised elite than ran the game in the country at the time. He signed a county contract with Worcestershire at the end of 2004 and played for them for three and a half seasons, enjoying most success in the limited-overs arena. He then returned at the end of 2007 to Zimbabwe as the running of the game in the country improved and went on to re-establish himself in the national side.
In all he would play 22 Tests, 102 ODIs, and 16 T20Is during his career and take almost 200 wickets. The highlight arguably came in 2002 on the tour of India when he dismissed Sachin Tendulkar three times in two Tests.
He will remain involved with cricket in his retirement by running the sports shop at Harare Sports Club and has also spoken of his desire to spend more time indulging his passion for fishing.
© Cricket World 2013