Astle began his career at Canterbury as a batsman of potential who could chip in now and again and help out the bowlers with his lively medium-pace.
Nobody forsaw what was to follow, though, as his batting developed out of sight. Suddenly his confidence grew and Astle became one of the most destructive one-day batsmen in world cricket.
He was selected for the New Zealand Test side by coach Glenn Turner and took to the five-day game like a duck to water, becoming a top-order batsman who could take apart any bowling attack put in front of him.
He posted consecutive centuries in 1995/96 against West Indies and ripped up the record books at Christchurch in 2001/02 against England when he hammered the fastest double hundred in Test - 222 off just 153 deliveries.
In September 2005, he became only the 10th man to score 15 ODI centuries, arguably becoming New Zealand's greatest one-day player.
He has previous county experience with Derbyshire, Durham and Nottinghamshire and signed for Lancashire in 2006 as a replacement for Brad Hodge, who was called up for the Australia A squad.
Astle announced his retirement from international cricket midway through the Commonwealth Bank Series with hosts Australia and England. .