Australian news June 27, 2011

Back injury forces Geeves into retirement

ESPNcricinfo staff

The fast bowler Brett Geeves, who played three matches for Australia during 2008 and 2009, has retired from first-class cricket due to an ongoing back injury. Geeves, 29, has not given up on being part of the new Big Bash League, but he said his body was no longer up to the rigours of the longer formats.

The back problem has signalled a disappointing end for Geeves, who made his ODI debut against Bangladesh in Darwin in 2008 and played another one-day international and a Twenty20 on the tour of South Africa the following year. He has not played first-class cricket since January 2010, and his sole appearance for Tasmania last summer was in a Ryobi Cup game in October.

"My back's about as stable as the Egyptian government at the moment, it's time for me to part ways with cricket," Geeves told ABC Radio on Monday. "After 17 months of rehab, I'm spent. Time to move forward."

Geeves will end his career with 140 wickets at 33.10 in 41 first-class appearances, along with 103 victims at 29.20 in one-day cricket. He will also be remembered for twice being stranded on 99 not out during the 2008-09 season, both times when the No.11 Tim Macdonald was dismissed, and Geeves ended his career without a century.

He played in two one-day final victories with the Tigers, firstly in 2004-05 and then in 2007-08, when he earned the Man of the Match title in the decider for his 3 for 28 against Victoria. Geeves didn't play in either of Tasmania's Pura Cup/Sheffield Shield final victories, but he twice won the Ricky Ponting Medal as the state's best player of the summer.

"Cricket has been kind to me over the past decade, with a couple of premierships with Tasmania and opportunities to head overseas to play the game just to name a few," he said. "I'm disappointed that injury has forced me to retire, however with the injury not looking to improve I had to make some decisions. My body has taken a real beating over the years and unfortunately it has ultimately brought an end to my first-class career."

Geeves could yet be picked up by one of the eight Big Bash League teams, but his future in any form of cricket will depend on whether his back allows him to play. He has already established himself in the media, on the ABC, as a columnist for Hobart's Mercury newspaper, and in his entertaining blogs.