Fast man wants county return April 10, 2008

Tait has 'massive desire to come back'

Cricinfo staff

Shaun Tait says injuries and his struggles in the Perth Test contributed to his stress © Getty Images

Shaun Tait hopes to be back bowling within a month and he says his self-imposed time away from the game has helped him reignite his desire to play cricket. Tait retained his Cricket Australia contract for 2008-09 despite quitting indefinitely in January, citing physical and emotional exhaustion.

Tait is planning to come back through domestic Twenty20 in England this year, although he might be rusty after being out of action for more than two months. "I haven't bowled at all," Tait told the Adelaide radio station 5AA. "I probably will in two or three weeks' time."

That sight will certainly please Tait's Australia team-mates and coaches after they, like the public, were caught off guard by his unexpected sabbatical. Tait's decision came after he battled with elbow injuries and was recalled to the Test side for the Perth match against India, where he struggled to have any impact and failed to grab a wicket.

"It was the toughest thing I have ever been through," he said. "It was pretty embarrassing. It's the first time it's happened in Australian cricket.

"I didn't get diagnosed with depression although a few media people have been displaying that. I get annoyed with the media. They cause a hell of a lot of problems in general. I don't think the media realise what they do to people's lives. They ruin people."

But the time off, combined with the support of his coaches and Cricket Australia, has rejuvenated Tait. "It's given me a massive desire to come back and play cricket rather than concentrate on other things in my life and have a crack for a few years," he said. "I am the only South Australian with a [Cricket Australia] contract and have a point to prove."

Andrew Hilditch, the chairman of selectors, said he was confident Tait would again be a valuable member of the 25-man squad. "Shaun just encountered something which probably he's never had to deal with before and probably as a selection panel we haven't had to deal with before," Hilditch said in the Sydney Morning Herald.

"We have had lengthy discussions, both coaches, players and fitness people, with Shaun. We're really confident that it's going to be a good future in the next 12 months or so for Shaun."