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Truth behind Hussey's retirement secret

Daniel Brettig

March 14, 2013

Comments: 98 | Text size: A | A

Michael Hussey is carried off the field on the shoulders of Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle, Australia v Sri Lanka, 3rd Test, Sydney, 4th day, January 6, 2013
"If I made it known earlier then perhaps they would start looking ahead earlier and not play me in my last couple of Tests" © Getty Images
Related Links
Ian Chappell : Life after Hussey
Features : An all-format specialist
News : Hughes, Khawaja tip out Hussey
Players/Officials: Michael Hussey
Teams: Australia

Michael Hussey did not reveal his plans to retire at the end of the Australian summer until the week before the Sydney Test match because he feared he would have been summarily dropped from the team had he done so.

Australian cricket reeled with shock when Hussey announced his decision to finish playing the international game, and it is no secret the team hierarchy would have preferred to be informed further in advance. However Hussey told ESPNcricinfo that his secrecy had been partly about preserving his place until the right moment to finish.

"Partly why I didn't want to say anything to anyone was that I cherished every Test match I got to play and I really wanted to finish the Australian summer," Hussey said. "If I made it known earlier then perhaps they would start looking ahead earlier and not play me in my last couple of Tests. That was a small selfish part of it that I really wanted to finish when I wanted to finish. I didn't want them to say 'you're going to retire, we'll blood someone else'.

"Most of it though was making sure I was 100% sure about the decision. I wanted to make sure in myself, I wanted to see how I felt through the Australian summer, and my feelings certainly didn't change. When I started looking ahead to what was coming up I knew I was going to find it really tough."

Hussey's suspicions proved well-founded, for his announcement was followed by his omission from the limited overs squads to see out the summer, though he remained available for selection throughout.

Watching the India series on TV, Hussey has admitted he isn't missing the trials currently being faced by Michael Clarke's team. He also said it would be some time yet before the team's culture settles into the sort of strong and assured environment he first walked into as a Test match debutant in Brisbane in 2005. Crucial to this, Hussey said, was the retention of a settled, stable team.

"The thing about that team is it didn't really change much for probably a 10-year period, so they got to know each other extremely well, like brothers," Hussey said. "The environment now will get back to that I'm sure, but it just takes time.

"There's been so much change and upheaval in Australian cricket over the last year or so, changing of coaches and selectors, players have come out of the team and new players have come in. So you've got to expect it will take time for trust to build up, friendships to build, the hard times, the good times together, it all builds the culture over a period of time."

In a career-spanning interview, Hussey also spoke about the time he felt his career came closest to an early end, before the 2010-11 Ashes series in which he was to be Australia's leading scorer. Compelled to play in the Champions League for Chennai Super Kings, Hussey was left with only two days to prepare for a Test match against India in Chandigarh, and actively fought Cricket Australia's decision to keep him in South Africa.

"I was really disappointed, because I was desperate to get there," he said. "My understanding was that the Test tour starts when the team flies out of Australia, and they weren't allowing me to leave South Africa where the Champions League was, until literally a couple of days before the Test.

"India's a tough place to play at the best of times, and if you don't have very good preparation going into it, you're not going to perform well, and I think looking back it was close to costing me my career. I came back into the Australian summer where again I felt under enormous pressure if I didn't start the summer well I could've been out of the team.

"I had one Shield game in Adelaide where I got 0 and 1, and in Melbourne I got a duck in the first innings and thankfully managed to get some runs in the second innings. If that had been the end, and one of the reasons why I was left out, because I wasn't able to prepare properly, I would've been one pretty dirty because I couldn't give my best to the team, but angry that it would've cost me my career."

Hussey gave Clarke credit for the way he had shaped the team over the past two years, but said that Ricky Ponting was the best captain he played under. He also revealed he had held his own leadership ambitions for a time, frustrated that his record of four losses in as many stand-in ODI appearances does not indicate what he might have done with a more lasting commission.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by Rippersportspro on (March 17, 2013, 8:58 GMT)

Every word said by Hussey about his "shock" retirement makes perfect sense based on the current incompetence of the Australian selection panel. I am one of the majority of fans who believe that Hussey has never been and is not selfish. In a nutshell, Hussey says that if you are not 100% committed to representing your country on the big stage (in any sport), your performance can suffer significantly as a result. The fact he has 4 children (one born prematurely last June) currently under 10 years of age is a more than justifiable reason to retire when he did, and his performances against South Africa and Sri Lanka this past Australian summer show that he was able to go out on his own terms and while on top, rather than being remembered as a fantastic player who stayed on too long. Most consistent player across all 3 forms of international cricket, whose presence will be sorely missed by many Aussie fans (myself included) for many years to come.

Posted by B.C.G on (March 15, 2013, 14:52 GMT)

@HatsforBats-Fair enough.Im not against any of his achievements. All Im against is this home farewell brouhaha.Lets consider some other honourable ways to leave shall we-

Gritting it out at Delhi to draw/win/lose gracefully with Huss going out as a true legend. Doing the same at the Oval 2013. Quitting in Sydney itself;not Sydney 2013 but Sydney 2014.

FYI a chap called Bradman played his FAREWELL test at the Oval;miles away from home.If anyone deserved a home farewell it was him.He could have even boosted his average above 100 if he played at home.However his timing was perfect for the team.

Posted by 2020sux on (March 15, 2013, 5:45 GMT)

sad reflection of the current state of aussie cricket, can't imagine recent events (homeworkgate) will improve this situation. unfortunate one of the greats of the last decade felt the need to resort to these tactics to end his career on his own terms. suppose when a side is on the way down celebrating a players career is no longer seen as important.

Posted by   on (March 15, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

Pathetic and pitiful reasoning there by Hussey. 100s against South Africa in Brisbane & Adelaide? As if he was going to be dropped after those performances, give the selectors and the Australian public something more logical Huss like Greg Chappell's 1983 excuse of a lack of enthusiasm(or the truthful reason that he didn't really like the captaincy style of Michael Clarke which is markedly similar to that of Kim Hughes!!)

Posted by inthebag on (March 15, 2013, 2:57 GMT)

He was right and he would know more than anyone how clueless the current 'heirarchy' have become. Onya Huss.

Posted by Paulk on (March 15, 2013, 2:47 GMT)

Mike Hussey had become one of my favorite batsmen in the last 5 years. He has had a pretty unique career making his debut at 30 and then achieving more and having greater impact than most. He debuted towards the end of the careers of the legends (Hayden, Gilchrist, McGrath, Warne) and slotted in seamlessly with them and along with Ponting and Clarke became the bridge that extended Australia's run at the top longer than it otherwise would have. I cannot think of any other batsman who debuted at 30 and had such a huge impact. Go well into the sunset Mike Hussey.

Posted by Meety on (March 15, 2013, 1:02 GMT)

@Mervin John - the 05 series revolved around a lot more than what if Huss & Hodge played. England played very well in that series & Oz didn;t recover from the McGrath injuries as well as they should of - mainly due to the surprisingly rapid decline of Dizzy. At the end of the day it is supposition as to whether either of those two batsmen would of changed events - bearing in mind that a) Oz won the 1st test & there was no real reason to change the batting order until towards the very end of the series. Both countries have often been reluctant to blood a debutant in an Ashes series as well. The only genuinely vulnerable batsmen in that series was Clarke - so there was no way that at the time Oz would of put two debutants into the batting line up - its just revisionary fantasy!

Posted by WC2011Champs on (March 14, 2013, 23:35 GMT)

Good timing of the article and in so many words Hussey is saying is playing for Australia had become less enjoyable towards the end and the (dressing room) atmosphere was not so warm and cohesive. Going forward the penalties would far outweigh the rewards. Hence he took the decision to retire abruptly.

Posted by iluvtest on (March 14, 2013, 23:12 GMT)

@ Goutham Shenoy sir, your criticism seem to be unfair about his being not out to boost average. Gilchrist played 137 innings and NO 20 times. Hussey played 136 innings and NO 16 times. England's Ian Bell played 144 innings with 20 NO. Most players have similar figures. Some even have more NO like Border and Steve Waugh and Chanderpaul. To me he is a dependable player all the time.I think his comment is subtly saying how things are with CA.

Posted by HatsforBats on (March 14, 2013, 22:00 GMT)

@B.C.G. You are clutching at straws mate. That Ashes series was 1-1 going in to the fifth test. Did they redefine the meaning of 'long gone'? Lets get this straight: you are criticising Hussey for scoring a half century at Lords (the only 50+ score in the innings) and for scoring a century in the fourth innings of the deciding match of the series. I never mentioned 'great' but Michael Hussey would have to be one of the must respected and effective players this country has produced.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 21:47 GMT)

mike hussey was a great player,who always turn the game even the game is on loose.he is such player who can play in every suition according the game.really he was a great player n we miss his game.

Posted by NAP73 on (March 14, 2013, 21:44 GMT)

Smart call Hussey; inept management probably would have dropped you eearlier. It is also interesting to see how the team culture has deteriorated further since Hussey left and it also shows the current lack of effective leadership in place.

Posted by SevereCritic on (March 14, 2013, 20:03 GMT)

Aussies are generally always known to treat their retiring players rather ruthlessly. Hussey has always been a perfect professional -- a complete cricketer who delivered for his country in all three formats. He was part of the reason why Clarke was able to pile up all those runs in 2012 in home tests. Coming in 3 down, Clarke knew that there was always Hussey after him to hold things together and build a partnership with. Did it against India; then did it again against SA in the first test. With Hussey gone, Clarke is having to rethink his 3 down position as he is being left stranded on one side, as the other side falls over like 9 balls.

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 14, 2013, 17:30 GMT)

@Mervin John, Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Although both Hussey & Hodge made their debuts soon after the 05 ashes series I don't think anyone at the time would have picked them for that series. Katich's position at 6 would have been vulnerable at that start of the series but I don't think you could have accommodated both Hussey & Hodge in that team.

Posted by AKS286 on (March 14, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

Good luck Hussey. Clarke's senior axing policy is responsible for Aus downfall. Due to respect he axed all.

Posted by sportofpain on (March 14, 2013, 16:41 GMT)

@landl47: Well said. Hussey to me is the epitome of a selfless cricketer. He got his break at the age of 30 - people should remember that. He was not bitter about that - just grateful that he got an opportunity and went on to pile mountains of runs. Given his late start I was expecting him to hang on for as long as he could so when he suddenly retired I was saddened - I'd have loved to see him play 100 tests - but hey he played 26 more tests that Sir Donald himself so that context is useful to remember while we celebrate an outstanding career. The thing about Hussey was that he seemed to succeed everywhere and did well in India too when some of the Australian greats have struggled. It is also interesting that he says Punter was the best captain he played under - given that he played under just Punter and MC. Also his fear of being dropped is an indictment of CA - and the lack of trust that even senior established players have of the administration - something is wrong here..

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

I think Hussey is one of the most dominant batsman Australia has ever produced. And I always maintained that if Hussey had played in the Ashes in 2005 along with Brad Hodge Australia might not have lost the Ashes. Remember, Australia has no fighter, no challenger on this team right now except Clarke and if they really wanted Hussey to stay, they would have fixed his pay check and retain him. Yes, he did the right thing, cause base on his age it would have been a matter of time before they shut the door on him. You cannot win matches if you don't select the right team to win. Meanwhile, Australia is enjoying their best day on the tour - no play today. Hope that will help them save the whitewash.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 14:51 GMT)

Australian fans accusing Hussey of being selfish need to start appreciating their best players more. Remember, this is a guy who was continually being ignored for a place in the side while racking up mountains of first-class runs, while nowadays the Baggy Green is being dished out to incomplete players like Phil Hughes, Shaun Marsh, Steve Smith, Xavier Doherty, and Rob Quiney! And when he finally got the chance he always delivered to the best of his ability for the good of the team. As an England fan he is the Australian I respect the most, ahead of the brilliant Michael Clarke and the never-tiring workhorse Peter Siddle. In any case, if retiring is the best thing he can do to spend time with his family, then all the best - someone has to put family first in today's ever-commercialized age.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 14:17 GMT)

I've always said he was selfish, even when people all over the world were heaping praises on him. Doesn't surprise me one bit. When he bats with tailenders, even those who cannot distinguish the bat handle from the blade, he never shielded them and used to take singles off every opportunity and let them face the music. No wonder he has so many not outs and that average. He knew what was coming in India. With just him and Clarke as competent batsmen, they never stood a chance. He didn't want that on his career. He enjoyed being in a team where it felt awesome that you start a test match knowing you would win, and did not want to be a part of the team in which you walk in knowing you will be thrashed (current team). So much for being Mr. Cricket!

Posted by SirViv1973 on (March 14, 2013, 13:43 GMT)

Interesting stuff from Hussey. Given his record he had every right to decide when he would call it a day. CA could and probably should have selected him for the ODI series against WI. I understand to a certain extent that the selectors may have had the CT in mind but there were so many players used over the 2 series with WI SRL. The squad for the WI series should have been made up of players who were not going to be involed in the test series in ind this would have allowed the squad there to have had an extra week & half preparation and given them the chance to play a couple of meaningful warm up matches before the tests began.

Posted by landl47 on (March 14, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

Hussey is the last person I would accuse of being selfish. He retired at the end of the Australian home season, a very fitting time to leave. He's almost 38 years old. If Australia has trouble replacing him, the problem is in the shortage of talent available, it's nothing to do with Hussey.

Huss could have phrased what he said differently and no-one would have accused him of selfishness (eg: I hung on as long as I could, hoping that Australia would find a replacement for me before I had to go), but it's a measure of his humility that he takes upon himself the burden that should have been CA's.

All Australians should be grateful to Huss for being the player he was for their side. I'm happy I had the chance to see him play. The best of good luck to him in his retirement.

Posted by B.C.G on (March 14, 2013, 13:21 GMT)

Look at Bobby Simpson.Came back at 42 to lead a 2nd string team against the mighty Windies.Remember he was paid according to the pre-Packer standards.Compare that to Mr.Selfish(huss) as he looks to earn a bit in the IPL. Didn't he know about the stern tests ahead for OZ?Wheres the responsibility?What legend deserts his team on FORIEGN shores?

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 13:18 GMT)

No one has a right to call Hussey selfish. Not one person would have a single bad word to say against him and his commitment to cricket and playing for Australia. It's just great that he bowed out on a high. Hussey would've always done what's right for the team. If he didn't play his final tests it would've been so unfair to a man who has given his heart and soul to Australian cricket.

Posted by B.C.G on (March 14, 2013, 13:16 GMT)

@HatsforBats-So 2 50s & a 100 when the games was long gone......from 5 tests.By all accounts;thats considered average or has great been redefined?

Posted by Fleming_Mitch on (March 14, 2013, 13:16 GMT)

Huss, fancy a plane trip to India. We need you mate. Edward good points mate and what you say is true, and I think it is also a measure of how far the Sheffield Shield has fallen. Guys that come out of there are no longer the finished article ready to play tests. It is sad because they should be, we shouldn't be developing players (*cough* Maxwell *cough*) in tests. If our team is crap I am all for bringing in new people no matter how hard the next test is - hiding Hughes behind Quiney was a disgrace, and you hear about it all the time in the Wallaby articles (selecting safe players not rookies against the Lions regardless of the gulf in ability or form). Khawaja who is one of the few descent test players hasn't been played yet and we need to give him a go soon and Burns is another one who is impressing me.

Posted by thebrownie on (March 14, 2013, 12:48 GMT)

The fact that he wasn't allowed to leave the Champions Trophy to prepare fore test cricket bothers me. Wow!

Posted by TheRedLeb on (March 14, 2013, 12:36 GMT)

I think branding Hussey as selfish is narrow minded ... every great sportsman (and his Test record for Australia speaks for itself) has earned the right to decided when the time is right to retire and walk away from the game. The fact he did it at home on a high after a great personal series against the SA's who has heaped a lot of hurt on in the past is a fitting end to a great career, I applauded him for walking away on his terms rather than being forced out or dropped.

I reserve comment on the Aussie selection panel but how would him announcing his retirement ahead of the SA series have changed any of their succession planning which quiet frankly has been found wanting and I doubt an extra 3 match head start would have made any difference.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (March 14, 2013, 12:32 GMT)

@Mitty2 yes Khawaja is talented and i see him coming back strong in teh 4th test. I don't think his non selection has to do with Clarke but more with Arthur. Clarke was talking up Khawaja's attitude at training yesterday so i don't buy this stuff against Clarke. I personally would have liked to see Khawaja come in the Sri Lanka series to cement his spot but you know what Huss is a legend and i can't talk him down. And yes its true, Mary is right, imagine if Hussey had of announced that at the start of the year we would be retiring after Sri Lanka you would have had all these people saying that he shouldn't be picked because we should be preparing for The Ashes. That's an interesting point and one that I have a problem with too…Ashes is still a biennial event, what catches my goat is when teams start to drop players based on a World Cup which is three-four years away. Doesn't cut the ice for me.

Posted by RandyOZ on (March 14, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

The third greatest batsman ever, behind bradman and lara.

Posted by VEXXZ on (March 14, 2013, 11:56 GMT)

More of this kind of "honesty" need to come to the foe . Too many things getting sweep under the carpet leaving the public the dark . Let hear the Truth coming from the England camp on KP.

Posted by mar2000 on (March 14, 2013, 11:13 GMT)

Just go to show that you are never "safe" in an Aussie line up . It is always difficult to stay in a team walking on hot ashes .

Posted by HatsforBats on (March 14, 2013, 11:10 GMT)

@B.C.G. 'Hussey is really average in England'? You really don't know much about Hussey's career in England, do you? Or do you mean 'against' England? Well, he averages 59 against them so I guess not. Oh, I get it! He was really average in England against England in that one series where he scored two 50's and a century! Yep, he's been the laughing stock of the international cricket scene for years. Isn't it funny that he quit international cricket to spend more time with his family, and now he might play in the IPL and STILL get to spend time with his family?! Simply outrageous! I'm done now.

Posted by Cricket316 on (March 14, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

Selfish ? Couldn't be more wrong guys. Hussey was always a Team Player & an Icon of the Modern Era.I don't blame Hussey for Retiring early. Hussey went out on his own Terms and with his dignity intact. Before he could be Axed or disrespected by his Administration and growing Egos in the Team.After Ponting left, I don't think Hussey thought he was treated well,which is clear from his Statements. And yeah,he didn't inform anyone and did the right thing. Otherwise the other men in the squad would come scratching and crawling for his spot in the team & as Hussey ,who wasn't at his peak at that time,he would have been not included in the Test Side & then CA would have just given him an option of a Test match,as his Farewell.

Hussey's a class act. I have nothing but Respect for Mike Hussey. His contributions cannot be overlooked,he has single handedly won many matches for the Ozs on a number of Occasions,the back bone of the Middle Order so to speak. Its a different ballgame now !!

Posted by JohnnyRook on (March 14, 2013, 10:58 GMT)

If a guy like Hussey has to resort to a little bit of selfishness to play his farewell test, it only shows Australia's coach, captain, selectors & CA as a whole in bad light. He was after all dropped from one day side after he retired almost like a punishment for retiring. Selfishness breeds selfishness and Hussey definitely didn't draw first blood.

People who are calling Hussey selfish should just practice what they preach and if planning on switching jobs, they should tell so to their boss rightaway. I am still a big Hussey fan and respect him even more now that he had guts to tell the truth. I would be glad if my kid gets even half of Hussey's honesty & work ethic and I am not even an Australian.

Posted by whofriggincares on (March 14, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

Cant believe how some of the Aussie fans are starting to sound like the fickle conspiracy driven indian fans (not all of them but plenty). Clarke is being made out to be the devil incarnate, not picking the" supremely talented " Khawaja because he doesnt like him ,what a load of crap that is . Truth is he had an image problem and people began to dislike him, now it wouldnt matter if he made 5 double tons in a year while leading us to back to back ashes triumphs the sooks on here would still find a reason to bag him as soon as something went wrong. It used to be called the tall poppy syndrome now it is known around the world as the "aussie whinge" . we now have a reputation for whinging even more than the poms. Thanks to all the whining sooks on here for that.

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 14, 2013, 10:49 GMT)

@bcg i have a phenomenal belief in this team. The talent is most definitely there, but the selectors are, bluntly, ruining everything. Maxwell, smith and doherty aren't in the best 25. Khawaja is incredibly talented, but he is not backed up by the selectors and has no confidence as a result. Burns and doolan are developing. I, unlike may, really rate hughes, and am expecting a turn around from him this game because of his ability to adapt. Cowan and warner has been the best opening partnership for over a year. And clarke is the world's best batsman.

but the plethora of fast bowlers is what is so outstanding, and it is seperated and covers all bases:

Out and out pace: cummings, pattinson, johnson, hazlewood (when free of injury), coulter-nile seam/hit the deck: siddle, faulkner, cutting, mcdermott, mennie swing: starc, hilfenhaus, copeland, butterworth, sayers all round: harris, bird, gannon and putland. On that list, only hazlewood averags above 30. That is depth if i ever saw it.

Posted by Batesta on (March 14, 2013, 10:35 GMT)

Stylish batting style like Sehwag........... I must have missed that

Posted by Sameer-hbk on (March 14, 2013, 10:33 GMT)

More than branding Hussey 'selfish' (who is not really?), the bigger issue is the kind of trust players and Aus administration/support staff/ captain. If a player who has been around for as long as Hussey and has done as much for the game in and outside Aus as he has, feels insecure, it speaks volumes of the way CA is functioning. The fact that Hussey had no faith in selection panel to communicate the matter and in the captain to take him into confidence really tells you why the 'soap opera' that played out last week happened. Feel Michael Clark is a big part of this problem. Players should be able to talk to their captain, getting his support and should not fear the axe. Symonds, Katich, Watson and a senior player who feared being dropped if he announced retirement in advance. Seems from the outside that there is serious trust deficit, insecurity among players and lack of leadership when Clark is at the helm.

Posted by manmishr on (March 14, 2013, 10:22 GMT)

Hussey has always been a silent assassin whose role was often underrated because he doesn't come with a stylish batting sense like Sehwag or Clarke. But his contribution to their batting has always been pivotal. He added good stability to their batting and his ability to score runs with the lower order was a saving grace in many occasions. It will be very difficult to bridge the gap left by Hussey.

Posted by KingofRedLions on (March 14, 2013, 10:21 GMT)

Another provocative headline. Thought I was reading something from News Ltd. for a second.

Posted by popcorn on (March 14, 2013, 10:17 GMT)

Cricket Australia has NEVER HELD sentimental Farewell matches, we know that. Not for Ian Healy,not for Steve Waugh,not for Mark Waugh,not for Ricky Ponting. I am happy that he acknowledges Ricky Ponting as the BEST Captain he played under - I think so too - but others who have NOT played under Punter,now armchair columnists earn by the number of lines they write. Could be trash. How I wish we had a solid nnumber 6 like Huss.

Posted by RaadQ on (March 14, 2013, 10:10 GMT)

Arthur's textbook-coaching is why Hussey would have been dropped and why his decision, albeit selfish, was the correct one. Learning from other sports, particularly football [soccer] one realises that bringing in a new team or rotation too much of the squad is doomed to fail, because not enough of the new players have the experience/team chemistry/mental ability to cope in a new environment, so it is best to transition into a new team by trying to groom one player at a time in the environment. You need a fixed, stable set up, and then introduce one person at a time, until he becomes ingrained within the squad, and it re-stablises despite the new edition. If two/three/four etc players need to be included as part of the long run, then this same method must be applied to them in succession, not in one go, which is doomed to fail.

Posted by Rhygwyn on (March 14, 2013, 9:57 GMT)

Uhh... Hussey not being selected for 2-3 Tests wouldn't have put Oz in a much better position it is now. Don't kid yourselves people. There is no easy fix to where the Oz team is at now. Only time can fix it.

Posted by Philip_Gnana on (March 14, 2013, 9:51 GMT)

Why not Why not? Hussey? Times are such players are thinking of themselves and safeguarding their place, due to the distrust of the selectors. This is going on in most nations. Not being selfish at all, although that is how it seems to be. At the same time, money is key factor in all decisions these days with the IPL and the champions league. Aussies are building a new team and it will take time for them to settle. So is the case for all nations. Having giving his 100%, it will not right to be finding fault with him. Mr.Cricket was called so for a reason. He is Cricket. Without him the Aussies would have been a much poorer team. It is high time that the selectors concentrated on their selection. That is where the root of the problem lies at the moment. Philip Gnana, New Malden, Surrey

Posted by vumpire-republic on (March 14, 2013, 9:39 GMT)

Mike Hussey need feel no embarrassment or shame for his decision... the current Australian team management are the ones who should feel ashamed and guilty (once again) for creating an insecure / untrusting environment.

And @Jayzuz, flogging rebuilding or out-of-form teams like SL and India at home didn't make Australia a class outfit again... it is this tour of India and the next one in England that should be used to guage where Australia are at. At home, Oz themselves have calibrated their pitches over the last 4 yrs to be greener and pacier when teams like India, SL, NZ visit (although it backfired at Hobart) and far more benign when SA's strong pace attack visits (as seen at Brisbane and Adelaide, and to a degree even at Perth where it was less green than when India visited). So don't begrudge challenging away conditions... that's the beauty of Test cricket (and far more preferable than boring draws like Brisbane 2010, or Galle 2013).

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 9:32 GMT)

@paul Rone clarke , youve summed up the whole thing . nuff said

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

Selfish ? I would say that's more than a bit harsh after all he did for Australian cricket.. Like most other teams he played against, I know many people thought he was a pain in the backside, but only because he always seemed to come good at the right time. A fine cricketer and as far as I know.. a gentleman. And let me say just this, if he had announced his retiremnet earlier and been dropped, then Australian cricket would have been deeper in the mire earlier than it is now.

Posted by SamRoy on (March 14, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

@Jayzuz I know India is not all that good (bowling is pretty poor); but Australia doesn't have a single good young batsman coming up the ranks except Warner, but he has been there for 4 years. That is their biggest problem. Ok, maybe Joe Burns. I will tell you something, England will comfortably beat Australia in the Ashes in England (they can blank them as well but English weather and a little bit of lackluster performances from England might not allow that) and are overwhelming favourites to retain it back in Australia. Truth is currently apart from SA and England there are no other decent test team in world cricket at the moment.

Posted by Kunal-Talgeri on (March 14, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

Dear Cricket Australia, this is a plea from a fan who is neither English or Australian: please do what you folks can to bring Michael Hussey back for one last shot -- The Ashes, at least the English edition. One appreciates the youth policy, and the tensions in re-building a team in transition. But for one summer, just look at putting the best XI together and focussing on the battle within the boundaries of a cricket field. Long before Hussey debuted, word was around of how compact a batsman he was. I, for one, believe the 2005 Ashes would have been a little different if he had debuted in that series. That's history, and there is a glorious summer in store. Please bring back a seasoned batsman to make a difference to your side. One also hopes Hussey leaves behind any insecurities to prepare for a top battle against a very competent English attack. No disrespect, but 'Swann to Hussey' is a different ballgame from 'Swann to Hughes.' Hughes may be the future, but the present counts too.

Posted by Anwar-Lara on (March 14, 2013, 9:20 GMT)

Mr Cricket or Mr Selfish?????

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 8:56 GMT)

the Aussies have fallen so far that i doubt it mattered either way what mr Hussey did.

Posted by TSJ07 on (March 14, 2013, 8:52 GMT)

Anyone calling Hussey selfish must be out of his senses. I'm an Indian and if I have respect for any Aussie player it has to be Huss at no.1 on the list.True performer for not just Australia but whole cricketing world.He came into team so late and still showed his hunger for runs and won many matches for his country. Also his on field behavior was the best of all Aussie players especially when they had some issues with Ponting in charge. Why Huss did not inform earlier probably he knew the current state of affairs in CA and team management under Clark now that recent example has shown us. Good luck Huss for the rest of your life we need more cricketers like you in future which will be rarity.

Posted by Jayzuz on (March 14, 2013, 8:42 GMT)

@raj_n, are you suddenly praising India's selection policies and team culture now that they have won two games - after winning only one of the previous 12? Australia lose two games and they are condemned to hell, immediately following a very successful period where they lost only 3 games in 2 1/2 years. These things just don't add up. Somehow I don't think Hussey was the sole reason for that success, given that Australia drew both series that he did very poorly in - vs SA (in SA) and NZ. I'll say it yet again, what we are seeing here is a result of poor selections and the fact that India have deliberately set up conditions to suit their team; and their strengths just happen to be the exact opposite of Australia's, so that has been extremely easy to do. India are no better than SL, who we just flogged 3-0.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (March 14, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

Hussey was not fact he has been honest in accepting the fact. And this incident shows the way CA manages the things. CA might be managing cricket in the same manner since years, however the loopholes were not visible as the team was very much strong. Now, with the retirement of all greats, the loopholes are looking as wide as anything.

Posted by D.V.C. on (March 14, 2013, 8:32 GMT)

If Hussey wasn't so selfish Australia could have started losing earlier!

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 8:31 GMT)

Some past Australian players of the last few years have been pretty ordinary in their timing to retire.. Hussey is one. Several have simply lied about retiring, stating they were going to play on til etc etc but then jumped ship. I understand the selectors ar hopeless and causing retirements but the players need to think about the team also.

Posted by disco_bob on (March 14, 2013, 8:21 GMT)

Yes, if Hussey wasn't so 'selfish' then Australia could have taken the opportunity to blood more of the current crop of batters who are doing so well in India.

Posted by gamespplplay on (March 14, 2013, 8:13 GMT)

the best skipper Australia never had!

Posted by B.C.G on (March 14, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

Hussey is really average in England.He struggled in 2009 & then got a ton in the end when everything was lost.No wonder he ditched his country before the Ashes.He says he wants to spend time with his family;yet when the IPL comes calling he even takes his family with him to India.

@Mitty-You quote-"It's indicative of the dismal and pathetic state of the Australian management and NSP that they'd consider depriving one of the Best aus batsmen to have a desired home series exit just to blood a young player."

Are you a true OZ fan?Wheres the Baggy Green pride?Is a fitting exit better than blooding new players in comfortable surroundings.?Usman Khawaja may cemented his place in that series instead of Huuss bullying a weak attack.Why coudn't Huss leave with Punter after the SAfrican series?

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 7:41 GMT)

"AFTER reading his statement it looks a case of nervous breakdown sort of condition...Which comes in the life of every man where he feels that he is not competent enough to fight with the situation....Otherwise I can bet the player of his stannderds would have done fair enough in this Indian tour also....But revealing thisthis thing at this stage he has given the introduction of his honesty... HE deserves a salute for this...Indeed you have to be brave enough to publically accept the truth with sheer honesty...It needs a courage man.....Though I personally felt sad after the retirement of Hussey!"

Posted by satishchandar on (March 14, 2013, 7:36 GMT)

Partly he is correct too. The day he announced his test retirement, he was disallowed in ODI/T20 team with the management thinking that "You are going to retire soon and let us try out different players" still being the best limited overs player for Australia even better than Clarke in that format. What more can u expect from that poor guy. Even such committed guy gets bad treatment..

Posted by ozwriter on (March 14, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

hussey should have been the captain after ponting. clarke's most recent fiasco is yet another evidence of his ineptitude as a captain and leader.

Posted by MrKricket on (March 14, 2013, 7:20 GMT)

A lot of the cracks of the past few years were papered over by the form of Hussey, Clarke and (last season vs India) Ponting. Now with two of those three gone it's all on Clarke and he'd love to have Mr Cricket over there even as a stabilising influence. The team is barely recognisable now, seems to have happened very quickly.

Huss had to wait forever to make his debut - they could have given him a bit more flexibility near the end of his career.

Posted by raj_n on (March 14, 2013, 7:14 GMT)

The term 'picking a team for the future' seems cliched. India has been doing that for the past few years where guys like Yuvraj,Raina,Vijay etc have been tried without luck. Now with Dhoni batting at six some of the careers are on the line. The good ones simply come and perform.Dropping Hussey from the ODI's is more in keeping with the mindset to exercise control than for any cricketing reason. What comes out in this instance is that the players actually know they are up against a management that knows very little about the game.

Posted by Yuji9 on (March 14, 2013, 7:12 GMT)

I think this article is revealing for showing that CA is actively detrimental to Aus's Test performance ordering batsmen to play pointless T20 tournaments over the priority of Tests. No more need for Argus or to ask the players why they under-perform. CA is about money and Hussey is here testifying to the impact that CA's valuing of quick cash over Test preparation had on his performance. I'd like 3 points from Pat Howard on how much he values the baggy green cap and its history and what he is prepared to sacrifice from Test performances to appease business interests. CA undermines Aus's Test potential more and more - I don't know what the Champions League is - I thought that was soccer? - and what on earth is a Chennai Super King? All that is nonsense and silly and leaves no legacy other than to hurt Aus Test performance with CA the corporate whip behind it all - it's like ordering a master chef to work in a fast food drive-thru - T20 passes from memory like junk food thru the body

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 7:01 GMT)

'the saga of debacle of australian cricket ' !! if the most hardworking and most humble cricketer of OZ sqaud like Mike hussey has been saying this , then its hard to imagine wat must be the inner picture of dressing rooms and selection boards :( cant say , once Clarke retires wat wud be the picture of Australian cricket team.Sadly they're heading towards the same path as Windies did after dominating the cricket world for many yrs

Posted by RobTay14 on (March 14, 2013, 7:00 GMT)

I wouldn't have wanted to go to India and then play ten ashes matches either. Good timing Hussey, you've been a great player. Now you can relax and get drunk.

Posted by frommoonman on (March 14, 2013, 6:59 GMT)

India is the exact opposite - SRT thinks he can never be dropped despite scoring only one hundred (that too in a losing cause against lowly Bangladesh) in his last 48 international innings.

Posted by TommytuckerSaffa on (March 14, 2013, 6:58 GMT)

Unreal that ACB dropped him from the ODI and T20 series straight after announcing his test retirement. Shameful. Such a talented batsman.

Posted by satishchandar on (March 14, 2013, 6:54 GMT)

I don't think he was selfish. Being a modest and honest guy, he terms it as 'selfish' but certainly i won't take it that way. If any player feels he will retire at the end of a series the team management should respect them and continue if he scores runs. Hussey didn't fear bad performance will make them drop him but a statement of retirement itself will make them drop the poor guy. Why should a player be dropped immediately after announcing retirement after the series. It would be such a arrogant management system if a super senior player like Hussey itself is such insecure and feels how rude the management can be. Another bad example from Australian think tank on how the management shouldn't be. Please publish.

Posted by Mary_786 on (March 14, 2013, 6:49 GMT)

Hussey's decision not to say anything could also represent this obsession we are starting to have with The Ashes. Back when I first starting following cricket the most important Test match was the next one we played. The Ashes was always that little bit more special but you never heard anyone talk about Ashes squads during the middle of a South Africa test series and you would never get anyone say we need to blood young players ready for the next Ashes series.I imagine if Hussey had of announced that at the start of the year we would be retiring after Sri Lanka you would have had all these people saying that he shouldn't be picked because we should be preparing for The Ashes. There would have been heaps of pressure to drop him and 'blood a youngster'. Now that he is retired we need to get a long term replacement and for me that is Khawaja from the famous gang of 4, if only he can get a couple of games to show his stuff. Hopefully we see him in the 4th test.

Posted by SamRoy on (March 14, 2013, 6:47 GMT)

@timohyj If Dravid and Laxman were so selfless they should have voluntarily sat out of the 4th test in Adelaide giving opportunities to Rahane and Rohit Sharma as it was a dead rubber. You are talking about the selfishlessness of Indian Cricket Superstars. I haven't seen one who was utterly selfless except probably Anil Kumble (but people have questioned his vested interest once he retired from the game).

Posted by Winsome on (March 14, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

Gee, Warren Smith, Mike Hussey must feel terribly hurt that you hate him now. LOL. Considering the shenanigans of the Aus mgt and selectors at present, he would likely have been dropped if he'd let them know. Look how fast he was dumped from the one day cricket team. Who exactly would have taken his place in the Sri Lankan test team? Khawaja who (for a variety of reasons) they won't even play now? Henriques - who is only playing in India because Watson won't bowl? Hussey is quality.

Posted by RaadQ on (March 14, 2013, 6:32 GMT)

Knowing the text-book style of Mickey Arthur n co, they prob would have done so, good on ya Hussey!

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 6:30 GMT)

Made him leave early? Pfft we should still have him in the team now, hes still better than most of the players in the team will ever be.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

The only cricketer who consistently DOMINATED the oppositions in all three forms of cricket. Scored runs when his team needed them the most. Not like our Indian sachin & sehwag who never delivered in crucial times

Posted by timmyw on (March 14, 2013, 6:22 GMT)

@ - timohyj. Well, what you say is incorrect on two counts. Firstly, Dravid and Laxman made way for two absolute guns who should have been in the Indian side long before they got their chance. After Hussey left look at how Australia have performed. Secondly, Hussey was in brilliant form. Those two guys weren't. Hussey is probably the least selfish international cricketer there was. Gonna miss his strokeplay and sportsmanship.

Posted by tokoloshe on (March 14, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

Hussey is a good man and a great cricketer. I wish him the best of luck even though he caused me much pain.....(i am a Saffa)

Posted by lillee4PM on (March 14, 2013, 5:46 GMT)

Mike Hussey should have kept quiet about his retirement until after the ODI series against Shri Lanka.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

Strong ACB administration and unbiased selection committee made Australian team achieve milestones one can only dream of. But 2007 onward the story changed completely. Same administration and committee kept on costing them the key players like Martyn,Symonds,Hayden,McGill,Hussey etc and who knows Watto may be. Over confidence on shield cricket and uncompromising attitude towards discipline might have helped them in the past but later on it hurt the team equally. They never had a plan to make smooth transition b/w old legs and young blood. As a result, the team which was nearly impossible to beat, is now sits on 3,3 and 7 in test,odi and t20 respectively and the ranks will surely get even more worse at the end of ind vs aus , pak vs sa and eng vs nz series. In the light of all this I will say Hussey made a very right decision.

Posted by Mitty2 on (March 14, 2013, 5:30 GMT)

It's indicative of the dismal and pathetic state of the Australian management and NSP that they'd consider depriving one of the Best aus batsmen to have a desired home series exit just to blood a young player. The contradictions are just phenomenal, they just picked Haddin when there are numerous players who are younger and more talented..

Hussey's statement on ponting is interesting, Clarke is one of the best tactitions in the game currently, and ponting's was doubted. The ostensible professionalism of Clarke is a fasad, with Clarke becoming increasingly immature with his relations with others. If you are a bad player but are friends with Clarke, you will instantly be selected (ie wade, Maxwell), and if you are a supremely talented player and better than the other alternatives, but Clarke has an issue with you, you will receive the full brunt of mistreatment (katich, khawaja.. etc)

And this is why punter is better, the whole fiasco would not have happened if punter was captain.

Posted by S-Matrix on (March 14, 2013, 5:27 GMT)

Waiting for the knives to come out for this selfish cricketer.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

why is he revealing it now? will only portray him as selfish....if he kept it secret then he should have done it forever!!!

Posted by hycIass on (March 14, 2013, 5:24 GMT)

This interview shows that the culture in the team is not right when a retiring champion can't announce his retirement for the fear of losing his spot. We need to look at carefully at whether the captain and coach can be selectors as this approach causes a conflict of interest. Hussey should never have been dropped from the ODIs.

Posted by SamRoy on (March 14, 2013, 5:14 GMT)

Always nice to hear from an honest, humble, hardworking man.

Posted by on (March 14, 2013, 5:04 GMT)

He was truly a great representative of Australia cricket.His performed remained constant during the best and to some extent in the worst days of austraila cricket.He is truly a Mr. cricket.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 5:03 GMT)

Hussey's comments show the issues endemic in Australian Cricket at the moment. Clearly he was 100% right not to announce early as he was summarily dropped following the last test and not given the honor of a farewell tour of Aus for the One day series that his career and, as importantly, current form deserved. All the best for the future Mr. Cricket!

Posted by mrmonty on (March 14, 2013, 4:55 GMT)

Mike Hussey (Mr. Cricket) thought he could be dropped, even in the face of Australia's talent drought! Either he was little insecure or he must have inside knowledge of the capriciousness with which most selectors (of most countries) work at times.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

I wonder if anyone in the ACB hierarchy ever asked him what his plans were regarding retirement, when and what he replied. One of the arguments made by people last year for dropping Hussey (and Ponting) was that they wouldn't be around for the Ashes series, if we want to be number 1 we need to win those series and to do that we need to get some experience into the young players coming in - the counter arguments were (a) they're making runs (b) you have to win the current series and (c) while they're still making runs there's no reason they won't still be around for the Ashes. They seemed strong points to me, but I wonder how strong they would have seemed without (c)

Posted by ARad on (March 14, 2013, 4:49 GMT)

My predictions for how this will be received by cricinfo commenters: A. Hussey is selfish. Everything is his fault. (A number of middle order spots have been available over the past couple of years due to retirements and injuries but others never took the opportunity that was given to them. That is not Hussey's fault.) b. Clarke is selfish. Everything is his fault. (This could be true. Clarke seems to have the 19th C. mindset re. discipline something that only Roebuck may agree with. We are in 21st century. Clarke appears to be someone to whom camaraderie does not come naturally - see previous episodes with Katich, Symonds, et al and read between Hussey's lines above re. BUILDING TRUST & FRIENDSHIP - so rather than changing himself to become a leader for whom others would fight for (given that the common goal of winning is already there), he wants to push others via discipline. That doesn't and shouldn't work. The problem lies with the leader IF HE CANNOT CHANGE HIMSELF.)

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 4:38 GMT)

My respect is always on for Mr.Cricket. His stats talks for him. What a wonderful cricketer he was to play test for Australia.

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 4:38 GMT)

I don't blame you Hussey, anyhow it turned out for the best, you showed those Sri Lankans!

Posted by timohyj on (March 14, 2013, 4:38 GMT)

This shows how selfish Hussey really is. Dravid and Laxman selflessly retired before the home season started and they didn't even get a farewell match so that youngsters could get experience. Laxman even decided to forego the opportunity of having a faerwell match in his hometown so that others could get experience ahead of tougher series.

Posted by guptahitesh4u on (March 14, 2013, 4:35 GMT)

Why two articles with almost same information?

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 4:33 GMT)

Mike Hussey's exploits are dearly missed by the current Australian outfit..

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 4:23 GMT)

All the best in your future endveours

Posted by   on (March 14, 2013, 4:17 GMT)

Hussy was my favourite Australian cricketer. His selfishness has cost Australia and i hate him for it. I knew it when he retired and this just confirms it. Hes always had a selfish streak. Sad that i have no further interest in him or his career.

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Daniel Brettig Assistant editor Daniel Brettig had been a journalist for eight years when he joined ESPNcricinfo, but his fascination with cricket dates back to the early 1990s, when his dad helped him sneak into the family lounge room to watch the end of day-night World Series matches well past bedtime. Unapologetically passionate about indie music and the South Australian Redbacks, Daniel's chief cricketing achievement was to dismiss Wisden Almanack editor Lawrence Booth in the 2010 Ashes press match in Perth - a rare Australian victory that summer.
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