Australia news March 16, 2011

Damien Wright retires from Australian first-class cricket

ESPNcricinfo staff

Damien Wright, the Victoria fast bowler, has announced his retirement from Australian first-class cricket. Wright was part of the Australian first-class circuit for 15 years since his debut for Tasmania in 1997-98. He's been part of three of the last four Sheffield Shield-winning teams, for Tasmania in 2006-07 and twice for Victoria, where he moved to in 2008-09. He joined Worcestershire in January this year and will be part of their domestic season starting April.

"I guess I wanted to go out on my own terms whilst feeling satisfied and happy," said Wright, who picked up 375 wickets in 116 first-class games. Victoria's final Sheffield Shield game of the season, against Queensland, was also his last. "When our match against Queensland finished, I realised it was my time and the right moment for me to go out. I've been really lucky to be a part of several titles and achieve what I have during my career; it's been an amazing journey and a ride I've really enjoyed."

Wright said he was grateful to Greg Shipperd, his coach at Tasmania and Victoria, for his mentoring. "I've been very lucky to have Shippy as a coach throughout my career in both Tasmania and now in Victoria," Wright said. "He's provided me with many opportunities, he started my first-class career off and now ironically I'll finish it under him. I'm extremely fortunate to have him as a mentor - he is someone who has played a huge role in my career and I thank him for that."

Apart from his skills as a pace bowler, Wright was also an effective batsman in the lower order. He averaged 24.08 with the bat and among his all-round highlights was his performance for Tasmania in their Sheffield Shield win in 2006-7, where he claimed eight wickets and contributed 67 and 47 with the bat in the final. In 2009-10, he overcame injury after missing Victoria's first five games to play a significant role with the ball in his team's eventual success.

He's also Victoria's bowling coach and hopes to continue that role.

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  • Warrick on March 16, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    Good on D.Wright to know when was the right time to go. He has been a good servant to Australian cricket and is one of the few 'genuine swing' bowlers we have produced. Surely there would be an opening for his skills as a bowling coach for the Oz team? Players like Dorey, Manou & Wright are doing the right thing and I feel others should take a leaf out of their books. What do we learn or how does oz cricket benefit if B.McGain takes a five-for? What about Mick Lewis saddling up for W.A? Hats off to Mickey Arthur for culling his squad to promote younger players. Cricket Australia and the review panel should take note. Now is no better time to throw these talents into the contest abley mentored by the D.Wrights, Lehmans, Hopes & S.Clarks of this world. Let the youth gain valuable experience & some hard lessons. Currently no.5 in test rankings, now is the time...the only way is up....I hope!

  • django on March 16, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    Very good bowler. Unfortunately he was in the wrong era or he would have played alot of international cricket. Fast and more importantly he was a genuine swing bowler. Very handy player.

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    These kind of players are just as important to the game as big stars, I hadn't heard of Damien Wright myself, living in NZ, but he'd surely have made it into a lesser international team given that players with somewhat less impressive first class stats are playing in teams like NZ, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Just shows how strong Aussie first class scene was for years until all those great players retired. Guys like Brad Hodge, Dave Hussey, and earlier, Darren Lehmann and no doubt a number of other fringe players only played a bit for Australia, and of course, the legendary Mike Hussey test debuted at the age of 30, despite a 55+ first class average. The latter were hardly journeyman players mind you, more nearlymen, and they too may have been first picks in a New Zealand team. Pretty unlucky for Wright never to have got 10 wickets in a match, but you need the drummers in the band just as much as the lead singers.

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