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January 29, 2008
Shaun Tait has walked away from cricket indefinitely, citing physical and emotional exhaustion. Cricket Australia announced that Tait will be rested from all levels while he undergoes a programme to help him recuperate, and the length of it will be dependent on his progress.
"This is a very difficult situation for me to be in at this time, this is not an overnight decision but something that I've been struggling with for sometime," Tait said. "A break from professional cricket will hopefully give me a clear mind and a chance for my body to rest and recover.
"My love and enjoyment of the game is struggling due to these issues and if I continue to go on it will be unfair on my team-mates and support staff of both the Australian and South Australian cricket teams - and most importantly my family and close friends."
During an up-and-down past 12 months, Tait made his ODI debut, played a key role in Australia's World Cup triumph, finishing the tournament with 23 wickets, had elbow surgery, and returned to the Test team against India in Perth. However, he was nowhere near as destructive as Australia had hoped at the WACA and failed to claim any wickets.
Trefor James, Cricket Australia's chief medical officer, said: "After discussions with Shaun and the South Australian Cricket Association medical staff it is clear that Shaun needs a break from cricket at all levels. We'll be working with Shaun going forward to ensure that whatever assistance he requires is provided to him. Shaun's personal welfare is our primary concern as well as his return to cricket at an appropriate point."
The South Australian Cricket Association's medical officer, Terry Farquharson, said Tait felt he needed to get away from the game. "Shaun has experienced recurrent injuries dating back to 2005 with a shoulder injury requiring surgery, an elbow injury in 2007 also requiring surgery, which has caused him ongoing pain as well as suffering intermittent low back and hamstring injuries," Farquharson said.
"The combination of his injury history and the demands of being an elite professional cricketer has affected his physical, and significantly, his emotional well-being. Shaun feels he needs a rest from cricket, and I support this, which will allow him to recover both physically and emotionally."
Tait was expected to be a key part of Australia's CB Series squad after his World Cup success. However, his absence will leave Australia with an even more inexperienced attack, with Glenn McGrath already missing from the side that triumphed in the Caribbean.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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