Match will be Wilson's swansong

Brad Wilson
Brad Wilson
Brad Wilson is about to call time on his career.

It was a cricket career not full of massive highs and plunging lows.

Wilson, who will turn 34 next month, was steadiness personified. He will take to the crease for one last time when Otago takes on Auckland in the final round of the Plunket Shield at the University of Otago Oval tomorrow.

He started out playing for Northern Districts in 2005 and, ironically, his first game at the first-class level was against Otago in Gisborne. Wilson made 96 in his opening bat in first-class cricket, bowled by Craig Cumming just four runs short of a century.

That was a pain for Wilson but he went on to have a more than useful career.

In playing 110 first-class games, he scored 6212 runs at an average of just over 32. His highest score was 165 and all up he made 14 centuries and 36 half centuries.

In the one day game, he made one century and had a strike rate of 71 which was better than average.

Wilson, who is in his fourth season with Otago, was viewed as more of a player for the longer version of the game and he was a good collector of runs.

Wilson said he had no regrets in his career and no second thoughts about retiring.

"I've just had enough really. I'm not getting emotional about it or anything. Sure it has been a big part of my life for the past 15 years but it is time to call it quits," he said.

"The body is sore after nearly every day and you just get that wear and tear."

He was set to return to the North Island and set up house in Matakana, which is just outside Warkworth, where he comes from originally.

"I've loved it down here. Loved the people and the way of life and we are really going to miss it."

Wilson had no regrets in his career. He made an NZ emerging players team once but never went on to higher honours.

"I won a Plunket Shield when I was playing for Northern Districts, and winning a title is always a highlight.

"The game has changed a lot in my time. The bowling is a lot more shorter and players are just more aggressive in the way the game is played. Twenty20 has, in a lot of ways, led to that aggressive play."

Wilson was a fan of all formats. He said Otago had felt the impact of players leaving over the past couple of years but making the one day competition final this year was a good boost for the season.

Wilson has sold his house to team-mate Anaru Kitchen and will marry Ashley Calkin in Millbrook next month. The couple have a son, Max, born last year.

Wilson built decks in the off season and was keen to go down that road now he has hung up his bat.

Otago and Auckland have little to play for in the game. Auckland had a chance to be right in the hunt but an outright loss to Canterbury blew its chances of winning the title. Otago named 13 players in a squad yesterday and will finalise its 12 today.

Central Districts leads the Plunket Shield with 100 points and plays Northern Districts in Hamilton. Canterbury, which has 85 points and is the only side which can catch Central, will play Wellington at the Basin Reserve.

With a maximum of 20 points available per round, Central could wrap up the win by batting and bowling well in the first half.

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