Australia news January 19, 2016

Hauritz retires from competitive cricket

ESPNcricinfo staff
37

Nathan Hauritz ended a playing career of 15 years following his Big Bash team Melbourne Renegades' exit this season © AFP

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.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • andrew-schulz on January 20, 2016, 4:12 GMT

    Much maligned during his career, very few realise what a top-class short form bowler he developed into. Probably the best performance by a spinner in snatching victory from the jaws of defeat in the UAE against Pakistan late in the last decade. Would have made a big difference to the World Cup campaign in 2011 if he wasn't injured. Jonty Codes makes the ridiculous claim that he was not a very good bowler, but makes the good point that his average is comparably to Lyon's.

  • SirBobJones on January 20, 2016, 3:50 GMT

    No difference to Nathan Lyon except that Ponting didn't like Hauritz so it was bye bye after that.

  • Cricinfouser on January 20, 2016, 2:53 GMT

    Your story on Nathan Hauritz's retirement states that he took his maiden first-class five-wicket haul in the Sydney test against Pakistan in 2009-10. In fact, that milestone came in the previous test in Melbourne a week earlier. http://www.espncricinfo.com/ausvpak09/engine/match/406199.html

  • R_U_4_REAL_NICK on January 19, 2016, 22:07 GMT

    Totally agree with ThebatsmansHoldingthebowlersWilley (post on January 19, 2016, 16:11 GMT) here. I have no idea why Hauritz was ever dropped for the likes of Doherty and Beer (in tests at least), and together with Clint McKay and Stuart MacGill, Hauritz ought to go down as one of the most unlucky/poorly treated bowlers in Australian cricketing history (MacGill just more darn unlucky to be around at the same time as Warne, and McKay probably one of the best suited bowlers for UK conditions but the Australian selectors were much too pace obsessed...)

  • OneEyedAussie on January 19, 2016, 21:43 GMT

    While Hauritz was never going to be a world beater in the likes of say Warne or MacGill, he was a decent enough off-spinner and I would argue the best available at the time. It was a shame he was mismanaged and generally unsupported by Ponting. In contrast Lyon, of similar talent and skills, received backing to the hilt from Clarke and has improved over time. All the best Nathan and thanks for the memories.

  • johntycodes on January 19, 2016, 20:54 GMT

    Even though hauritz was not a very good slow bowler his test bowling average is the same as the great nathan lyon everyone keeps saying how good he is

  • Camberwellcarrot1979 on January 19, 2016, 19:48 GMT

    Ponting was a great batsman (an all time great) but a horrible captain famous for some really really bad decisions. No.1 was batting first at Edgbaston and watching England smash it to all parts and No.2 would be not playing Hauritz (or another spinner) in the Ashes decider at the Oval, where Australia choked and England won again at home. Seemed like a fair bowler did Nathan and a whole lot better than some of the dross they played at that time (Beer, Doherty, McGain etc).

  • annoyedofit on January 19, 2016, 16:28 GMT

    I do like the fact that @BIG_MAXY_WALKER continues to try and deride Lyon. Enjoy those sour grapes because he's not going anywhere

  • Inferno02 on January 19, 2016, 16:25 GMT

    If Nathan Hauritz would have received the same amount of support as Lyon, he would have surely turned into a world class spinner. No way near in the Warne caliber but a good enough spinner to support the fast bowlers.

  • thebatsmansHoldingthebowlersWilley on January 19, 2016, 16:11 GMT

    As an Englishman I felt Hauritz was the best you had at the time. He was harshly dealt with by Ponting and the Aussie selectors - let's face it, he was a darn sight better than Xavier Doherty and Beer who were selected ahead of him in 2010/11 Ashes and robbed him of a few caps. He was basically in the Ashley Giles mould as a player. Doesn't strike fear into the opposition but can do a job. I remember him batting with a badly broken finger in the 2009 Ashes and bravely making a few runs

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