By Kaylan Geekie | UWS Sport
Scotland captain Preston Mommsen has announced that he is retiring from international cricket with immediate effect.
Mommsen led Scotland to two of the sport’s global events, the ICC 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the 2016 World T20 in India. He was also named as ICC Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year in 2014.
Announcing the news he was leaving the sporting arena for the world of property investment, he said: “After much thought and reflection, I have taken the decision to step down as the captain of Scotland and not renew my contract with Cricket Scotland, in order to pursue a very exciting and attractive opportunity in the corporate world. It has been an incredibly difficult decision but one that I felt I had to make at this stage in my life.”
The 29-year-old will be remembered for his astonishing achievement during the 2014 World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand where he amassed 520 runs at an average of 86.66 during the tournament, including 139* in Scotland’s victory over UAE in the final.
He played 42 ODI’s – scoring 1,101 runs at 32.38 with two hundreds and six half-centuries to his name. Overall Mommsen retires from international cricket with 127 Scotland caps to his name, along with an ODI average of 32.38 and 2,589 First Class runs at 37.52.
“I would like to thank everyone involved at Cricket Scotland, both past and present, for giving me the opportunity to fulfil my dreams and supporting me on my journey,” he said.
Mommsen was also the first captain of a Scotland side to claim their first win at a global event after the Scots beat Hong Kong at the ICC World T20. His dynamic fielding and safe hands will also be a loss to the national side.
He added: “I am enormously proud of what we have achieved over the last few years, and I have no doubt that the team and the organisation will continue to grow its presence on the global stage in the future.
“I leave the team in a very healthy position with a world class management setup and a group of players that are demonstrating the skill and hunger to push Scotland cricket into the Top 12 in the World. I would like to wish both the team and the organisation all the very best.
The national team had been in the doldrums for several years prior to Mommsen taking over the captaincy but fortunes changed as he led the side’s renaissance, winning two trophies and guiding the Scots to two World Cups – unprecedented success for Scottish sport.
His leadership and experience will be greatly missed both, on and off the field and his successor will have big shoes to fill.
Cricket Scotland Chief Executive Malcom Cannon added, “Preston has been an exemplary ambassador for the sport in this country and should be extremely proud of his achievements as captain of Scotland. The role comes with far more responsibility than just leading your team on the field and Preston has taken it all in his stride.
“He has raised the bar in the level of professionalism he has shown, whether it be with team-mates, members of the media or aspiring youngsters, he’s been a great credit to the organisation.
“I have really enjoyed the chance to work with a such a determined and passionate individual and wish him the very best in his future endeavours. He will be a great asset to his company in the corporate world.”
Scotland Head Coach Grant Bradburn commented on the news: “This is a bitter sweet situation for our team and for Cricket Scotland. Above all we are very happy for Preston to be offered such an exciting opportunity.
“Preston is intelligent, well respected and ambitious, so for him to be moving into a corporate field that he is passionate about is just brilliant.
“He will be a big loss. A quality experienced batsmen at the peak of his skills, consistently our fittest player, top fielder and of course our leader with a tough uncompromising attitude.
Bradburn added: “Preston has proudly been a champion for the Associate game and a role model who has helped bring next tier nations to global attention, always striving to give Associate Cricket the growing credit it deserves.
“Preston should be very proud of his many achievements as an international player and we wish him every success in his new career.”