Former Black Caps spinner Jeetan Patel has announced his retirement from Wellington cricket this morning as he looks to transition into coaching - and he already has a job to work with.
Patel has decided to bring his 19-year career with Wellington to a close after 307 appearances for his hometown with a spin bowling consultant job available with England.
After working with England last month during their T20 series against the Black Caps, Patel was given an opportunity to stay on with the team for their upcoming tours of South Africa and Sri Lanka and he felt the time was right to transition from player to coach.
"The opportunity to take up a role with England is one that doesn’t come around often and one I simply can’t turn down,” Patel said.
"I’ve been hugely privileged to be able to represent Wellington for almost 20 years – this game has given me so many enjoyable moments and the Firebirds and the Cricket Wellington logo is something that is very important to me."
Since his debut for Wellington in 2000, Patel has racked up more than 500 wickets across all formats and is the fourth all-time leading wicket taker in first-class cricket for Wellington with 333, behind Mark Gillespie, Evan Gray and Ewen Chatfield.
The 39-year-old also made 78 international appearances for the Black Caps across all three formats after earning his debut in an ODI in 2005, taking 130 wickets and earning selection for the One-Day and T20 World Cups in 2007.
Patel will play his last match for the Firebirds in the Super Smash against the Central Stags at the Basin Reserve on Wednesday December 18 before linking up with England a week later ahead of their Boxing Day Test against the Proteas in Centurion, South Africa.
The former Black Caps spinner still has one year remaining on his contract with Warwickshire in the UK though, which he will be free to complete alongside his new commitments to England before hanging up the boots for good.