Seth Rance retires from Domestic cricket

After a career that took him from small town Wairarapa to the Central Stags to the BLACKCAPS, swing bowler Seth Rance has officially called time on his NZC Domestic representative cricket career.

Rance is retiring after 49 first-class matches, 72 one-dayers and 83 T20s in his overall career that saw him play two One-Day Internationals in Ireland after his 2017 debut selection for the BLACKCAPS, going on to add a further eight T20 International caps both in New Zealand and abroad, as well as representing New Zealand A Men.

For the Stags, the strong paceman with an outstanding ability to swing the ball in late finishes with 349 wickets across the three formats.

Until this season - in which he did not play, following an ultimately career-ending injury - Rance was also the Stags’ all-time leading T20 wicket-taker with 92 victims, before being overtaken by Blair Tickner.

All together he won seven Plunket Shield, Ford Trophy and Dream11 Super Smash national trophies with the Stags; as well as New Zealand A selection and the 10 white-ball caps for the BLACKCAPS.


At 36, Rance says his body has signalled that it's time to call it quits at the higher echelons of the game.

In December 2022, after the early part of the Stags' Ford Trophy campaign, he suffered a lattimus dorsi tendon rupture. It’s a particularly uncommon injury — specialists told him they only see one or two cases a year in New Zealand, and his tendon is now surgically pinned back to his armpit.

“Quite simply, my body’s had enough,” says Rance, who can fall back on his trade as a qualified builder, and continues to serve as a volunteer fireman in his Greytown community. 

“I gave it every chance to come right, and it hasn’t. I still can’t throw or bowl properly - to my former standards anyway, so that made the decision to retire from the Central Stags straightforward.

“But also — and just as importantly, it was time for me to give back to my wife Suzannah and our three young kids. They have sacrificed so much to allow me to keep playing over recent years, but now it’s time for me to give back, to be their Dad, and spend that extra time with them."

"I’ve been really comfortable moving on into the next chapter of my life.”


Central Districts CEO Lance Hamilton said Rance would remain fondly remembered by all his teammates, not only for the skill set he brought to the game, but for the enjoyment and mirth he created behind the scenes.

“Seth brought a lot of intensity to the field when he played,” says Hamilton, “but he also brought a lot of humour and laughter.

“He formed great partnerships on the field with his fellow pace bowlers, and great friendships off it.

"When Seth and Marty Kain were together in particular, feeding off each other, we had two absolute characters in the dressing room, creating a lot of laughter and enjoyment — and that is a very special gift in itself that helps everyone relax and enjoy the game.

“He’s also someone who maximised his talents and that ultimately saw him get selected in the BLACKCAPS from 2017 to 2019 which was an awesome achievement."

Rance is keen to continue to play at the community level in Wairarapa and for his lifelong club, Greytown CC.

“My next goal is to play in a team alongside my kids,” he says.

“I also want to mentor local players where I can help, which I’ve been doing and enjoying over the last 12 months.

"I hope I’ve spurred on some youngsters to push on and play for Wairarapa, and who knows where that could take them.”


His favourite memories with the Stags and in the BLACKCAPS?

“For the BLACKCAPS, it’s hard to go past the experience of debuting”, he says, “but I do think playing back here in New Zealand was as good as it got, really.

“It’s what, during your kid-life, you spent your time watching and thinking about. It still gives me little goosebumps thinking about that now.”

He played T20 Internationals here against the West Indies at Saxton Oval (his T20i debut) and Bay Oval, and against Pakistan at Wellington Stadium and Eden Park, before touring the UAE (to play Pakistan) and Sri Lanka.

“For CD, we won some amazing trophies. The Plunket Shield we won at Nelson Park in 2017/18, that was a special one.

"It had been a particularly good year for me with the body, and things were going well. They were incredible times."

Rance took seven first-class bags with a best of 6/26; six four-wicket hauls in List A one-dayers with a best of 4/25; and two four-wicket hauls and a T20 bag in the shortest format.

His T20 career best 5/19 against the Otago Volts at McLean Park in 2021/22 still ranks as the third-equal best T20 figures in Stags history, and bettered his 4/13 on debut.

Learn more







Asahi CCC Dream11 Dulux Ford Gillette GJ Gardner KFC Life Direct Pals Powerade Spark Spark