Australia fast bowler Shaun Tait has announced his retirement from all forms of the game on Monday (March 27). The speed star has represented his national side in 3 Tests, 35 ODIs and 21 T20Is.
Tait played his last game for the Hobart Hurricanes against the Sydney Thunder in the 2016-17 Big Bash League, ending a 15-year career at the competitive level.
“I honestly wanted to play a couple more years, whether it was over in the UK or here,” Tait said to cricket.com.au. “I knew it was going to be difficult getting older to compete with the young blokes. I’m 34 years old and I suppose when you’re not contributing on the field as much as you’d like to, it’s time to finish up.”
The 34-year-old was first included in the Test squad for the three-match series in Sri Lanka in 2004 on the back of consistent domestic performances, but could not make it to the playing side as Australia opted to go with two spinners. His international debut came against England in Nottingham during the 2005 Ashes, where he picked up three wickets in England’s first innings, but could only feature in two more elite format matches due to persistent injuries.
The limelight of his international career was the ICC 2007 World Cup, where he picked up 23 wickets in 11 matches to finish joint second in the leading wicket-takers’ chart. In his brief ODI career, he claimed 62 scalps at 23.56 and strike rate of 27.20, which is the second-best rate among bowlers who have taken at least 50 ODI wickets.
Tait once clocked 161.1 kmph against England in 2010, which is also the second fastest ball ever bowled in the One-Day International’s (ODI) history.
“Pretty much getting left out of the side or not being able to play because of my elbow, either way there’s no point going on with it. I knew during the Big Bash that I was going to finish up. The elbow has pretty much gone off a cliff now, it’s done and dusted.” Tait said.
“It would have been nice to play another year maybe, but there’s no point getting more surgery and play when I’m 35 when I’m probably not up to it anymore. If I was still performing really well, I’d probably do it [have surgery and keep playing]. But I just wasn’t. The game’s getting quicker and better and I’m getting slower and a bit older. It’s that simple.”
Tait also added it is ’emotional’ time for him to say goodbye and that he would like to continue playing cricket in future in one way or another.
“It’s emotional, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “The first time when you know you’re going to retire, you look back to when you first started. It seems like it was yesterday, but it has been 15 years now. It’s probably a cliché that a lot of guys say, but just being with the lads [is what I’ll miss the most]. Being with your team-mates, having a beer with your team-mates in the change rooms, going away on a trip somewhere to wherever it might be.
“You don’t want to be away from home all the time, but sometimes it’s nice to go to India or the UK for a tournament. That’s always one of the perks of cricket, travelling to these parts of the world, which I’ll miss a bit. I don’t want to close cricket off, that’s for sure. It’d be nice to continue on in cricket somehow.”