Colin de Grandhomme
Colin de Grandhomme Image Credit: AP

Wellington: New Zealand all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme quit international cricket on Wednesday after being unexpectedly drafted to play in Australia's Twenty20 Big Bash League (BBL) around the new year.

The 36-year-old's selection as a "gold" pick for the Adelaide Strikers in Sunday's BBL draft presented a conflict with his central contract with New Zealand Cricket (NZC), which ran to next July.

NZC said in a statement on Wednesday that de Grandhomme had decided to retire from the international game and had been released from his contract.

Fellow Black Cap Trent Boult was also released from his central contract earlier this month to allow him to focus on playing in the lucrative T20 leagues proliferating around the world.

Zimbabwe-born de Grandhomme, who has played 29 tests, 45 one-dayers and 41 T20s for his adopted country over the last decade, said he had found the grind of international cricket getting harder and harder in recent weeks.

"I also have a growing family and am trying to understand what my future looks like post-cricket," he said in an NZC statement.

"I've been fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to play for the Black Caps since debuting in 2012, and I'm proud of my international career, but I feel this is the right time to finish." De Grandhomme, who scored 1,432 runs at an average of 38.70 and took 49 wickets in test matches, was part of the New Zealand team that won the inaugural World Test Championship last year.

"Colin's been a hugely influential part of the Black Caps and contributed to some of the team's greatest achievements," said New Zealand coach Gary Stead.

"While it's sad to see him go - we appreciate he's at a stage in his career where he's looking to head in a different direction and we respect that." The head of the global cricketers union (FICA) warned last week that the drain of talent from the international game to T20 leagues was a bigger concern than ever.