Fast bowler reportedly making good progress March 7, 2008

Tait eyes start of next season for comeback

Cricinfo staff

Shaun Tait has reportedly made good progress since he quit cricket indefinitely following his unsuccessful return to the Test team © Getty Images

Shaun Tait is expected to be ready for a first-class comeback at the start of next season, according to his manager Andrew McRitchie. Tait walked away from cricket indefinitely following his unsuccessful return to the Test team in January, citing physical and emotional exhaustion.

However, McRitchie said things were looking up and Tait was keeping in peak physical shape by training with a football team in country South Australia. "We expect he will be ready to go by game one next season," McRitchie told the Advertiser.

"Shaun is thinking about what he has to do to get back to playing at the highest level, which is a good sign. If you think back to when he first stepped away, none of those things were in his sights and now they are. He wants to be back playing but knows he has a bit of work to do."

The Redbacks are playing their last match of the season in Sydney, meaning Tait will have to wait until the start of 2008-09 to consider a comeback. "He could quite possibly put his hand up in readiness for the West Indies [tour in May] but the fact he hasn't played any cricket would probably be held against him," McRitchie said.

Ryan Harris, who has been one of South Australia's leading bowlers in Tait's absence, said the players had caught up with Tait since he walked away. "He is just taking a break and seems happy," Harris said. "Whether we get him back this season or next is his decision. Hopefully he does come back next season but he has to be happy with that and his life."

McRitchie said Tait had received support from several AFL players who had suffered similar problems and also from Marcus Trescothick, whose battled with a stress-related illness was well documented. "Marcus' message was: 'hang in there and just realise there is more to life than playing international cricket'," McRitchie said. "Marcus also went through a tough time in a high-profile situation."