Pieter Seelaar announces retirement from international cricket due to persistent back injury

Pieter Seelaar had featured in the first home ODI against England, before missing out on the second on Sunday with back injury. He decided to call it quits with that being a recurring issue.

Image courtesy: Pieter Seelaar
Seelaar represented the Netherlands in 57 ODIs and 75 T20Is.

Pieter Seelaar, the Netherlands captain, announced his retirement from international cricket on Sunday, June 19. Seelaar stated persistent back injury as a major reason behind his sudden call.

“Since 2020 my back problems got worse to such an extent that - much to my regret - I am no longer able to give everything I’ve got,” Seelar said as stated by a Cricket Netherlands release.

Seelaar, the left-arm spin bowling all-rounder, made his international debut back in 2006, an ODI against Sri Lanka at the VRA Cricket Ground in Amstelveen, and played his last at the same venue against England on Friday, June 17. He had already played cricket at the Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 levels earlier, before making his senior level debut for Warwickshire during the Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy in England two months before his ODI debut.

Overall, Seelar represented Netherlands in 57 ODIs, and bagged 57 wickets at 35.7, while maintaining an economy of 4.68 and a career best of 4/15.

He had famously dismissed Sachin Tendulkar and Kevin Pietersen at the 2011 Cricket World Cup, and was Netherlands' leading wicket-taker in the competition with eight scalps.

He was ruled out with injury for the second ODI on Sunday, with wicketkeeper batter Scott Edwards taking over as captain. 

As for the T20Is, he’s Netherland’s most capped player with 75 caps, wherein he’s bagged 58 wickets - the most for his country - at 21.88 at an impressive economy of 6.87. He also scored 591 at 17.38 with a highest of 96. Seelaar was a part of Netherlands’ famous T20 World Cup wins against England in 2009 and 2014, having returned 1/33 and 0/14 (two overs) in the respective outings.

He was named the side’s captain following Peter Borren’s retirement in 2018, and had led the side to glory in the qualifying tournament for the T20 World Cup 2021. 

Netherlands High Performance Manager Roland Lefebvre acknowledged Seelaar's contribution to the country's cricket.

“Pieter’s input has been priceless, first as a player and later also as captain," he said. "His management style is open, honest and transparent, which has always been appreciated by the players. He can look back upon a wonderful international career which unfortunately comes to an untimely end. We wish him the very best for the future.”