Retravision Warriors wicket-keeper Luke Ronchi has announced he will quit interstate cricket in Australia at the end of the 2011-12 season and move to New Zealand.
Ronchi, 30, becomes eligible for New Zealand’s national team in January 2013.
He is expected to sign for one of New Zealand’s provincial sides in an attempt to play international cricket for New Zealand.
Ronchi made his debut for the Warriors in 2001-02, lining up in an ING Cup one-day match in the absence of regular wicket-keepers Adam Gilchrist and Ryan Campbell.
He has played 58 first-class games for WA, scoring 2777 runs at 32.67 with a top score of 148, while also claiming 214 catches and 10 stumpings.
He also represented WA in 86 domestic limited-overs matches, scoring 2212 runs at 30.30 with a highest score of 113 not out and snaring 115 catches and 19 stumpings, as well as 32 T20 matches for the Warriors and Perth Scorchers.
Making his international debut for Australia in 2008, Ronchi played four one-day and three T20 internationals against the West Indies and South Africa, and has also featured in the Indian Premier League for the Mumbai Indians.
Ronchi says he has loved representing Western Australia and playing interstate cricket in Australia, but the opportunity presented to him in New Zealand is too good to pass up.
“I am heading across the Tasman with no guarantees but at 30 years of age I feel that I still have a lot to offer at the very highest level and I am looking forward to making the move with my family,” Ronchi said.
“I have been around so many outstanding players, coaches and administration staff in my time at the WACA and I can’t thank them enough for the support they have provided to me over the past decade.
“We have some big matches to finish off this summer with the Retravision Warriors and I am hoping for a successful end to my playing career in Perth.”
Retravision Warriors Head Coach Lachlan Stevens said the chance for Ronchi to better himself and strive to play international cricket is one he has to take.
“Luke has been a great servant to WA cricket over the past ten years and has been an outstanding man around the playing group,” Stevens said.
“He is an enigmatic player who on his day could take a game away from the opposition very quickly.
“We wish him nothing but success in his endeavours to play for New Zealand, and we think it is a great story that he is still aiming to play at the highest level. We will support him and continue to monitor his progress closely from back here.”
With the New Zealand domestic season commencing in November, it is anticipated that Ronchi will be available for the Perth Scorchers in the forthcoming Champions League T20 tournament.