After 20 seasons of First-Class cricket, Michael Papps has made the difficult decision to retire from the game he loves.
Although Papps had always planned on the 2017-18 season being his last, the decision to retire was not taken lightly and, in his own words, “it was never going to be easy to say goodbye.”
A veteran of 188 First-Class games and Wellington’s first triple centurion, Papps went on to talk of the pride his career has given him,
“As they say, you know when the time is right, and I am walking away knowing that I have given the game everything I have.
“I am honoured to have represented the BLACKCAPS and the great cricketing provinces of Canterbury and Wellington.”
Having debuted in March 1999, Papps has collected more milestones and accolades than most in the game, however he acknowledges that it will take some time for all of that to settle in,
“While it’s too soon to truly reflect on my career, the last couple of weeks have given me the opportunity to look back on an incredible journey that I am privileged to have experienced.
“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.”
While many fans are envious of the life of a professional cricketer, the days away from family and friends, and dedication required to make a sustainable living are often overlooked. Papps is quick to acknowledge those who shared in his sacrifices and successes,
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my close friends and family for all their support over the last 30 odd years. In particular, my parents, Heather and Terry, and my brothers Tim and Richard for enabling me to follow my dreams, and also my partner Beth for her love and support.
“I would also 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.
“I am truly grateful to all of the people that have been a part of my career and I look forward to catching up and continuing those friendships in retirement.”
Article courtesy of Wellington Cricket.
Image courtesy of PHOTOSPORT.NZ