Published On: Mon, Mar 27th, 2017
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Shaun Tait retires from cricket field

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Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait has called time on his cricketing career early Monday morning after having represented his country in three Tests, 35 One-Day Internationals and 21 Twenty20 Internationals during which he picked up 95 wickets. “The Wild Thing”, Tait had over the years been nursing a series of elbow injuries and eventually decided to hang up his boots.

“I honestly wanted to play a couple more years, whether it was over in the UK or here.” I knew it was going to be difficult getting older to compete with the young blokes. But I didn’t know it was going to be as difficult as it was this year (with the Hurricanes).

Despite not having represented Australia since January last year against India, Tait was a regular in the Big Bash and the Sheffield Shield. In fact it was his performance in this very tournament that paved the way for his selection in the Australian Test team in 2004. He eventually made his Test debut against England at Trent Bridge in the 2005 Ashes.

“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. 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,” he added.

Known for his slingy action, Tait once even clocked over 161 kmph against England in a T20 in 2011, but his repeated injuries took a toll on his speed as well. 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,” he said.

On 29 January 2008, Tait announced that he would take an “indefinite break from cricket, citing being physically and emotionally exhausted” and then a year later, retired from first-class cricket. In the shorter format however, Tait remained a vital cog in Australia’s scheme of things. During the 2007 World Cup that Australia, won Tait picked up 23 wickets.

“It’s emotional, there’s 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’s been 15 years now. It’s probably a cliche that a lot of guys say, but just being with the lads (is what I’ll miss the most). Being with your teammates, having a beer with your teammates in the change rooms, going away on a trip somewhere to wherever it might be.”

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