Australia news March 28, 2011

Shaun Tait retires from ODIs as a faded force

Daniel Brettig
26

Shaun Tait has announced his retirement from the one-day format, and his days as a cricketer, at least as most have come to know the word, are over. His decision to quit at the conclusion of Australia's World Cup campaign, in order to concentrate his energies on the many riches to be had in Twenty20, was far from a surprise. But it will sadden those who found real exhilaration in unbridled pace delivered in bursts of more than four brief overs.

In truth, the 28-year-old Tait has been a T20 bowler for quite some time, never delivering more than four overs in the one spell for Australia or South Australia over the past two seasons. He never retired officially from Test or first-class cricket, though in July last year, he had little hesitation in flatly rejecting Ricky Ponting's hopeful suggestion of an Ashes campaign.

A violent action placed unique strains on Tait's body, and caused him to gradually pare back his cricket from the peak of 2004-05, when he claimed a record 65 wickets in the Sheffield Shield - strike-rate an eye-popping 36.10 - to win an Ashes tour berth. Those days - which retiring South Australian wicketkeeper Graham Manou described glowingly when he departed the game earlier this month - have now receded well into the distance, replaced by only fleeting glimpses of the sustained speed Tait was once capable of delivering.

"This is not a decision I have taken lightly but I believe it is one that will help me to prolong my cricketing career through the many Twenty20 avenues available," Tait said. "In reality, playing all year round for Australia and South Australia is not allowing my body to stand up as I would like and I do not want to be forced into retirement through career-ending injuries.

"Twenty20 cricket allows me to manage my body to a level where I feel I can continue to contribute to the game for some time yet. My goal was to hopefully help Australia retain the ICC Cricket World Cup. However, with our involvement now finished I feel it is the perfect time to move on in a new direction."

There was no little nostalgia in Tait's retirement statement, although his tale has always been somewhat bittersweet. He endured a hellish Test match against India in Perth in January 2008. Picked despite injuries that worsened as the match wore on, Tait spiralled into a state of exhaustion, depression and utter distaste for cricket, and subsequently took nine months out from the game. He returned as a warier figure, but he was able to enjoy the high of World Cup victory in 2007 amid a general pattern of injuries and rehab sessions.

His decision to abandon the longer forms of the game allowed Tait some more space, something he needed as a man who was not always devoted to cricket - not unlike the great West Indian Curtly Ambrose.

"I've never been one of those blokes who loves cricket flat out," Tait said in a 2010 interview. "I like playing the game and I enjoy it, but I'm not a cricket fanatic and I haven't always found it as enjoyable as I probably could have, and that's probably pretty obvious.

"I don't always get up and feel like that [I'm looking forward to playing today], but the majority of the time this season I have, so it's been a plus. There was a time a couple of years ago when I didn't want to leave the house and go onto the cricket field, but it's been quite good this year [2010]. If I keep a positive mindset that's always going to help physically as well if I'm not so tense and it's going to help with my results and help the team, so it's all good."

The Indian Premier League, the Champions League and the expanded Big Bash are where Tait's future lies, and his retirement from Redbacks duty will make him a notable free agent for all eight teams to pursue for next summer.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on March 29, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    Good decision. Had he not taken this step, he would have been dropped anyways and probably wouldn't be selected for T20 cricket also.

  • on March 29, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    good for him and good for Australian cricket... he is by no means a player of Australian cricket standards.. he should retire from T20 format of the game as well.

  • on March 28, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    I think Shaun Tait should be respected as he is retiring after grabbing SACHIN Tendulkar as his last victim in ODI's.. Good job Shaun , You deserve some sort of respect..

  • Timmuh on March 28, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    "But it will sadden those who found real exhilaration in unbridled pace delivered in bursts of more than four brief overs." Why? Its not like Tait could bowl ten overs, or more than four straight. T20 is all his body is capable of.

  • on March 28, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Shaun Tait did a bad thing by continuing to bowl at such pace that stressed his body and also decreased his accuracy. He should have sacrificed some pace and bowled slower and more accurate and definitely he could play atleast ODIs for another few years

  • InsideHedge on March 28, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    No surprise, he would have "retired" even if Oz had won the WC. At the end of the day, a great deal of investment was made in him, and he never repaid it to the Oz public. Does he expect us to feel sorry for him when he says he's not *that* interested in cricket? Even in this WC, he was barely able to bowl more than 2 over spells. Given his antics against Dilshan and also against India, he was hardly a bowler that the cricket fan could find appealing. I reckon he was the exact opposite to Brett Lee, a man who squeezed everything out of his body for his country. Just look at how Lee was throwing himself around in the QF, a real fighter. Good luck to Tait, but when you consider how much money he's gonna make, pls. don't try to sign off like we should fee sorry for you.

  • on March 28, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    well! sad to hear this. thats the result of too much money thrown in 1 format. fast bowlers r dying because of intensive cricket and lucrative leagues being played around. i m not opposing leagues but there should be restrictions to number of matches in such tournaments.

  • Ezee-T on March 28, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    "I've never been one of those blokes who loves cricket flat out," - Tait

    His career summed up perfectly.

  • QasKs on March 28, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    I think Tait cannot handle international pressure he did retire or took some time off before as well as he told that he is not ready.Injuries to fast bowlers are common anyways his been really awesome to watch and hope he succeed in T20.

  • MKLNarayan on March 28, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    Shaun Tait is a good bowler. Looks he mentally wears down when playing against India. He had a poor series against Indians in 2008 and went out of test arena. Now, after the quarterfinals with India, he has opted out of ODIs as well.

  • on March 29, 2011, 6:26 GMT

    Good decision. Had he not taken this step, he would have been dropped anyways and probably wouldn't be selected for T20 cricket also.

  • on March 29, 2011, 5:37 GMT

    good for him and good for Australian cricket... he is by no means a player of Australian cricket standards.. he should retire from T20 format of the game as well.

  • on March 28, 2011, 12:52 GMT

    I think Shaun Tait should be respected as he is retiring after grabbing SACHIN Tendulkar as his last victim in ODI's.. Good job Shaun , You deserve some sort of respect..

  • Timmuh on March 28, 2011, 12:44 GMT

    "But it will sadden those who found real exhilaration in unbridled pace delivered in bursts of more than four brief overs." Why? Its not like Tait could bowl ten overs, or more than four straight. T20 is all his body is capable of.

  • on March 28, 2011, 12:33 GMT

    Shaun Tait did a bad thing by continuing to bowl at such pace that stressed his body and also decreased his accuracy. He should have sacrificed some pace and bowled slower and more accurate and definitely he could play atleast ODIs for another few years

  • InsideHedge on March 28, 2011, 12:20 GMT

    No surprise, he would have "retired" even if Oz had won the WC. At the end of the day, a great deal of investment was made in him, and he never repaid it to the Oz public. Does he expect us to feel sorry for him when he says he's not *that* interested in cricket? Even in this WC, he was barely able to bowl more than 2 over spells. Given his antics against Dilshan and also against India, he was hardly a bowler that the cricket fan could find appealing. I reckon he was the exact opposite to Brett Lee, a man who squeezed everything out of his body for his country. Just look at how Lee was throwing himself around in the QF, a real fighter. Good luck to Tait, but when you consider how much money he's gonna make, pls. don't try to sign off like we should fee sorry for you.

  • on March 28, 2011, 11:08 GMT

    well! sad to hear this. thats the result of too much money thrown in 1 format. fast bowlers r dying because of intensive cricket and lucrative leagues being played around. i m not opposing leagues but there should be restrictions to number of matches in such tournaments.

  • Ezee-T on March 28, 2011, 10:54 GMT

    "I've never been one of those blokes who loves cricket flat out," - Tait

    His career summed up perfectly.

  • QasKs on March 28, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    I think Tait cannot handle international pressure he did retire or took some time off before as well as he told that he is not ready.Injuries to fast bowlers are common anyways his been really awesome to watch and hope he succeed in T20.

  • MKLNarayan on March 28, 2011, 10:36 GMT

    Shaun Tait is a good bowler. Looks he mentally wears down when playing against India. He had a poor series against Indians in 2008 and went out of test arena. Now, after the quarterfinals with India, he has opted out of ODIs as well.

  • ips65 on March 28, 2011, 10:24 GMT

    what is it about India and Shaun Tait...last time he played a test against India (Perth), he retired/took a break from test cricket...and now after the one dayer (quarter-final) with India, he is retiring from one-day cricket....maybe Australia should play a T-20 with India next...that will probably be the last we see of Shaun Tait in international cricket.

  • askhetan on March 28, 2011, 10:17 GMT

    Its disappointing to see that players who fail to make their mark in the longer versions of the game are switching to shorter ones for the sake of "prolonging" their careers. Also, this proves that most bowlers who do so, think that they can get by in T20 cricket by still performing below their level best. With T20 cricket getting more competitive I have no reason to believe that their performance woes will not follow them in this form of cricket. Ancient Roman wisdom in the words of Seneca: As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.

  • Viper2.0 on March 28, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    Please retire from T20 cricket also,why do you want to play cricket if you don't love it?

  • SajithKrishna on March 28, 2011, 10:03 GMT

    A talent like Shaun Tait is going to play T20s alone?? Where is cricket heading??

  • on March 28, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    no matter if he retires..bcoz....we have bollinger,nannes......johnson...and lots of new faces 2 come.......................

  • pj3000 on March 28, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    I wonder if this is premature. Sure, Tait's bowled a lot more balls closer to 140 than 150 of late, but I recall Binga Lee was dropping under the 140 mark a few years back yet at 34 he was able to rediscover his powers and zing 'em through at 145/150 as he did in his younger days. I'd prefer to see Tait remodel his action based on rhythm rather than just play 20/20 bowling the same way he always has. When Tait ripped a bum muscle mid-over against England in Hobart last summer, he hobbled up on one leg and let it go at 136km/h. It just shows there's too much raw pace in him to give up the longer forms of the game at 28. Have a rethink Taity: work out a more sustainable technique which still maintains your pace, and do what all cricketers worth their salt should do: aspire to play Test cricket flat out for five days in a row.

  • on March 28, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Tait did d rght thng according 2 me...he was such a vulnarable character of injuries nd injuries porne player...d tym he played 4 aus iz memorable wid gud 2007 wc...now its tym 4 d young guys 2 perform in dis arena...he was express quicky nd furious...we mis u player...

  • on March 28, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    How many more times will he retire?

  • aalkool on March 28, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    Tait the time traveller! Endured a hellish test match in January 2008, took nine months off and came back to enjoy the 2007 World Cup victory. I can feel myself getting younger.

  • on March 28, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    GOOD but a bad decision by Tait . He should have remodeled his action and should have played much more ODI cricket . He believes more on pace than skill . Anyhow he knows about more fast bowling .

  • on March 28, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    If he doesnt like to play y he is occupying the position even in 20-20.

  • on March 28, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    I think with TAIT and LEE retiring, Australia would lack pace attack. 2011 is a year of retiring speed stars, Shoaib, Lee, and now Tait.

  • on March 28, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    Fortunate or Unfortunate his last test and last ODI were both against India

  • fwd079 on March 28, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Australia needs a complete rebuild and we might see a surprise win of world cup from them in WC 2015.

    Tait goes, I guess Lee, Ponting and a few more might follow. Good men and really was a privilege to watch them play.

  • on March 28, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    Mightily over-rated bowler. Had he been from the subcontinent, the media would have blown him away much earlier.

  • Tigg on March 28, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    A shame that someone with such potential has faded. He hasn't really been a force in most of the year (bar the odd burst). His radar has been as hit and miss as ever but with pace down a bit his straight balls are less effective.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • Tigg on March 28, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    A shame that someone with such potential has faded. He hasn't really been a force in most of the year (bar the odd burst). His radar has been as hit and miss as ever but with pace down a bit his straight balls are less effective.

  • on March 28, 2011, 8:16 GMT

    Mightily over-rated bowler. Had he been from the subcontinent, the media would have blown him away much earlier.

  • fwd079 on March 28, 2011, 8:32 GMT

    Australia needs a complete rebuild and we might see a surprise win of world cup from them in WC 2015.

    Tait goes, I guess Lee, Ponting and a few more might follow. Good men and really was a privilege to watch them play.

  • on March 28, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    Fortunate or Unfortunate his last test and last ODI were both against India

  • on March 28, 2011, 8:45 GMT

    I think with TAIT and LEE retiring, Australia would lack pace attack. 2011 is a year of retiring speed stars, Shoaib, Lee, and now Tait.

  • on March 28, 2011, 8:52 GMT

    If he doesnt like to play y he is occupying the position even in 20-20.

  • on March 28, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    GOOD but a bad decision by Tait . He should have remodeled his action and should have played much more ODI cricket . He believes more on pace than skill . Anyhow he knows about more fast bowling .

  • aalkool on March 28, 2011, 9:32 GMT

    Tait the time traveller! Endured a hellish test match in January 2008, took nine months off and came back to enjoy the 2007 World Cup victory. I can feel myself getting younger.

  • on March 28, 2011, 9:39 GMT

    How many more times will he retire?

  • on March 28, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Tait did d rght thng according 2 me...he was such a vulnarable character of injuries nd injuries porne player...d tym he played 4 aus iz memorable wid gud 2007 wc...now its tym 4 d young guys 2 perform in dis arena...he was express quicky nd furious...we mis u player...