He ends his career as the all-time leading scorer for Netherlands in List A cricket
Wesley Barresi, a staple of the Netherlands batting order throughout the 2010s, has retired from all forms of cricket at the age of 36. Barresi was one of the national team’s most unsung heroes for his role in numerous memorable wins over Test nations, and took to social media to formally end his career.
“I’ve been incredibly privileged to not only participate in three cricket world cups, represent a country and achieve some memorable feats but more importantly I’ve had the pleasure of doing this for 18 years!” Barresi posted over Twitter on Monday. “The world of cricket doesn’t quite understand the sacrifice, dedication and self motivation that goes into being an ‘associate cricketer’. I look back at some of those glorious memories and know we did it all on our own.”
Born in Johannesburg, Barresi made four first-class appearances for the Easterns in 2004 and 2005 before making his national team debut for Netherlands against Canada in Rotterdam in July 2009. He wound up making 18 first-class appearances in the ICC Intercontinental Cup for them, scoring 608 runs.
Barresi had a much better output in limited-overs cricket. He ended his career as the all-time leading scorer for Netherlands in List A cricket with 2871 runs in 109 matches with two centuries and 19 half-centuries. He made his ODI debut in July 2010 against Scotland at World Cricket League Division One on home soil.
A few weeks later, Barresi played arguably his most significant ODI innings, scoring an unbeaten 64 of 43 balls to clinch Netherlands’ first ODI win over a Full Member when they chased down a target of 200 with seven balls to spare to defeat Bangladesh in Glasgow. His lone ODI century came in January 2014, a match more infamous in Dutch circles for the stunning chase completed by Kenya that kept Netherlands out of the knockout stage of the 2014 World Cup Qualifier and ended their ODI status for the next four years.
Ironically, Barresi’s only other List A century came in the match that won ODI status back for Netherlands, an eight-wicket win over Namibia in the final round of the 2017 WCL Championship in Dubai.
However, the wicketkeeper-batsman may be best remembered for his pivotal role in a pair of triumphs at the 2014 T20 World Cup in Bangladesh. In an epic win over Ireland that secured a place for Netherlands in the main draw, Barresi scored 40 not out off 22 balls to chase down 190 in just 14 overs with six wickets in hand. Ten days later, he top-scored with 48 off 45 balls as Netherlands completed an emphatic 45-run win over England, sending a message that their win over the same opponents at Lord’s to open the 2009 tournament was no fluke.
Barresi is one of only three Netherlands players – along with Ben Cooper and Stephan Myburgh – to score more than 1000 runs in T20 cricket, racking up 1165 runs in 65 matches. He took a particular liking to British and Irish competition. Aside from his knocks to help defeat England and Ireland in 2014, his four highest scores in T20Is all came against Scotland. That included a career-best 75 not out in November 2013 in Abu Dhabi during an eight-wicket win in the knockout phase of the T20 World Cup Qualifier, a result that kept Netherlands alive before a win over Papua New Guinea secured their place in Bangladesh for a historic run a few months later.
His final appearances for Netherlands came in the summer of 2019 against Zimbabwe. He scored 39 not out to see his team over the line by seven wickets for their first ODI win against Zimbabwe and scored 22 two days later in his final ODI innings in another win over Zimbabwe. He then scored 8 and 4 in the two T20Is that followed, another Netherlands win before a tied match was claimed by Zimbabwe in a Super Over.
Having given up the wicketkeeping role to Scott Edwards a year earlier to play as a specialist batsman, Barresi lost his place in the Netherlands squad altogether following his lean form in the Zimbabwe T20Is. He was dropped for the four-match T20I series against UAE later in the summer of 2019 and was unable to secure a recall into the squad for the 2019 T20 World Cup Qualifier in the UAE, where they defeated PNG in the final.
“It’s been a tough decision to make and a sad one to accept but I find myself at peace with my decision now,” Barresi wrote in his retirement post.
Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo’s USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna