Hauritz retires from competitive cricket
Nathan Hauritz has announced his retirement from competitive cricket. The 34-year old former Australia offspinner, who had played 17 Tests, 58 ODIs and three T20s, ends a career that began 15 years ago.
Hauritz made his decision following the end of his Big Bash season with the Melbourne Renegades. He was picked for only one of their eight matches this year, when Perth Scorchers recorded the tournament's first-ever 10-wicket victory. Hauritz bowled two overs, but went for 29 runs and his helplessness on that night figured heavily into his calculations.
"I was just so shattered after the game," he said. "I realised I hadn't come down here to be that disappointed about a game of cricket anymore. I thought 'I don't need that anymore'. I just want to get away.
"The highs and lows [are too much]. I need to get off that up-and-down rollercoaster and get back to a bit of normality in life."
A part of Hauritz' problem at Docklands stadium was that he was no longer playing domestic cricket. Queensland had cut his contract in June 2014 and without overs under his belt, he found himself lost for ideas.
"I competed as hard as I could, but I just felt that me competing as hard as I could wasn't good enough," he said. "They were that night, but I just didn't have a different answer. I'm not in a competitive environment every week to [confidently] . . . try something different.
"It was really tough that I wasn't playing and training at that level anymore to get straight into it. I felt the pressure a lot more than I usually had. This year, I felt that if things weren't 100 per cent right - I started to feel I was done - I don't want to go through more heartache or disappointment, [just] to try and finish on a high."
Hauritz had to shoulder the responsibility of filling a Shane Warne-shaped hole in the Australian line-up for much of his career. His finest moment as an offspinner came against Pakistan in the 2010 New Year's Test when he claimed 5 for 53, his maiden first-class five-wicket haul, at the Sydney Cricket Ground, for long his adopted home having turned out for New South Wales from 2006-07 to 2011-12. He returned to Queensland, his home state and with whom he began his domestic career, to play the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.
He had made the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne prior to that special as well by hitting 75 off 152 balls, having come in ahead of Michael Clarke, Marcus North and Brad Haddin. Those two performances remain his best in long-format cricket and Australia whitewashed Pakistan across three Tests, five ODIs and a T20.
"I have a lot of good memories, obviously a few bad ones mixed among them," Hauritz said. "But I'll definitely look back at my career very proud and very happy with what I achieved."
Those "bad ones" are hard to forget. Hauritz was dropped from the Test squad at the last minute before the Ashes in 2010-11 and never played Tests again. He had the chance to make a comeback in one-day cricket, at the ensuing World Cup in India no less, but injured his shoulder in Hobart and had to pull out of the squad. Haurtiz last played for Australia in January 2011 at Bellerive Oval
Hauritz has not given up on the game entirely though and is scheduled to participate in the Masters Champions League, a T20 tournament for retired players, in the UAE from January with Sagittarius Strikers alongside the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Daniel Vettori and Mahela Jayawardene.