Australia news

Lessons of Hussey's long apprenticeship

Daniel Brettig

December 30, 2012

Comments: 85 | Text size: A | A

Michael Hussey's retirement will allow him more time with his family, Melbourne, December 30, 2012
Michael Hussey's international retirement will allow him more time to spend with his family © Getty Images

No-one made more runs before being handed a baggy green cap than Michael Hussey, and it is highly likely that no-one ever will have to again. In addition to leaving an enormous hole in Australia's batting order, Hussey's exit from the game at 37 also poses a major question about the development of players capable of filling it.

Was Hussey robbed of an even more illustrious career by a selection panel that scorned his talents until he was 30, or was the wonderfully dextrous and adaptable player he became a direct result of all those years spent honing his game for the opportunity? As he looked forward to more time at home, though he will continue to play for Western Australia and Chennai Super Kings in the IPL, Hussey said he wished he had been given an earlier chance, but reasoned that the completeness of his game and the maturity of his approach stemmed from the extra time he was left to shape it.

"I would've loved to get an opportunity earlier, there's no question about that," Hussey said. "I would've maybe liked to go through what young players go through at international level where you come in, you're so excited to be there, probably go through some hard times and then come out the other side a batter player.

"But in a lot of ways it probably did help me to be able to perform consistently at international level, to have so much first-class cricket behind me. To learn about the game and learn about batting and learn about myself as a person, I think held me in very good stead when I came to the international game when there's so many distractions externally, to be able to put them aside and concentration my game. Knowing what worked for me helped me definitely."

With Hussey soon to be gone from the team, Australia's selectors are left to pick from the meagre batting options they have left. Usman Khawaja is part of the current squad and has worked at rounding out his game in the manner of Hussey, while the Twenty20 captain George Bailey has a fighter's instinct and a leader's brain and attitude, if not quite the record of batting achievement that suggests he will make as instant an impression at 30 as Hussey did after he debuted in 2005.

Hussey's most cherished moments

  • "The 2007 World Cup was just an amazing experience - the way the team played throughout that tournament was just incredible cricket,. So to be a part of that was absolutely fantastic and a huge highlight for me. Being part of an Ashes series where we won 5-0 here in Australia and to play with some of the true legends and greats of the game I'm really thrilled to play with these guys and to play in such a fantastic Ashes series like that. They're the two that standout most to me over my career.
  • "From a personal point of view my favourite moment would be hitting the winning runs in the second Test in Adelaide in that Ashes series [in 2006]. I'm not sure how many I made that day, but that feeling I got, to win that amazing Test match and to be out there to hit the winning runs, was a fantastic honour."

Hussey himself believes his 35-year-old brother David deserves a chance, while Chris Rogers is of the same age and the possessor of endless first-class experience in England. Other young batsmen like Joe Burns in Queensland, Kurtis Patterson in New South Wales, Alex Doolan in Tasmania and Peter Handscomb in Victoria will in time press their claims, but their readiness for international cricket and all its myriad challenges will depend on how - and for how long - they are groomed.

A major reason for Hussey's exit is that he is no longer prepared to separate himself from his family for the long tracts of time required by international tours, but another is the wearing down effect of Test match pressure, be it from opponents, media, supporters, team-mates and the man himself. The support Hussey has been given from the likes of his first-grade batting coach Ian Keevan, the former Northants coach Bob Carter, and his wife Amy allowed him to push through much of it, and those relationships were also built up over the years he spent waiting for his chance.

"There's so much pressure, stress and tension around international cricket, on all the guys," Hussey said. "I'm amazed how the guys handle it at times. But I think it's very important to have a good support network around you, people who keep believing in you all the time, and keep you in a positive frame of mind when sometimes it's quite easy to get yourself down and put more pressure on yourself. I'm very lucky to have that network around me that've remained really positive and confident and believed in me.

"It's a little bit sad and I will miss certain parts of it. But there's so much more to life than just playing cricket, and I have those fantastic memories, but there's going to be a lot of things I certainly won't miss, like the really sick feeling in the stomach when you have to go out and bat in a Test match, the constant time away from home, training, travel, hotels and airports. It does wear you down after a while.

"It's taken me a long time to learn how I play my best cricket. It's going to be different for everyone, but for me personally when I do relax, when I do enjoy the game I just stick to my very good preparation, and I just know and believe I will perform."

Hussey's final summer has been played without the self-imposed expectations he had previously lived with, for he knew that retirement at the end of the season was always his most likely path. That allowed him to relax and play his best, just as he did not gain a start for Australia until after he had virtually given up hope of earning one.

"I do feel like the pressure's been off a little bit," he said. "I was very keen to do well in this particular summer. Like every summer I guess. But I felt like I could go out there with nothing to lose a little bit because I knew in my own mind that it was probably going to come to an end at the end of the Australian summer.

"So I could play with a bit more freedom and just go out there and relax. Maybe there is a lesson in there to be learnt - I have always been someone that has put a lot of pressure on myself and tried sometimes too hard and when you just relax and play and enjoy the game, that's when I've played my best cricket."

There is a lesson in that for all those who will follow Hussey into Australia's Test team, one of many that can be learned from observing the career and achievements of a cricketer who tried to - and usually did - do everything right.

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

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by CustomKid on (January 2, 2013, 0:41 GMT)

All the best Mr Cricket you will be missed incredibly. Could not find a better bloke and one to took every opportunity that came his way.

I've just kissed out miniscule ashes chances goodbye on Huss not being in the side - england in a canter now.

Happy retirement and I'm glad I got to see you smack a ton in the flesh one last time at the adelaide oval against the Saffers in December. All the very best to you and the family.

Posted by fitzy99 on (January 1, 2013, 11:46 GMT)

Husseys innings to beat Pakistan in the semi final of the world t20 in the carribean was one of the most exciting things I've ever seen on a cricket pitch.Hats off to you Mike for not only being a champion cricketer but giving everyone a lesson in how to go out on top and on your own terms

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 6:05 GMT)

I was always amazed to see hussey on the field with full of energy,confidence,smile..Even after making debut after 30, he stood tall and performed to best of his abilities...He was good in batting, fielding...He was a man with a big heart, a smile on the face, respected opposition and a man who performed in all conditions sub continet,ausies pitches, england ,SA...

Posted by   on (January 1, 2013, 2:44 GMT)

"You don't have to be a Victorian conspiracy-theorist to think that" ... there was a much greater anti West bias amongst the Australian selectors. They tried sticking needles in their eyes before they selected Hussey. Katich had to go East and was still dumped, while still in his prime, as soon as injury gave the selectors half a chance to flick him. I believe the selectors have only just gotten over having seven WA players in the national team during the 70s.

Posted by featurewriter on (December 31, 2012, 22:51 GMT)

There weren't really any opportunities for Huss to break into the Test team any earlier. You look at the depth of batting talent he had to compete against - arguably the richest in our nation's long history of first-class cricket. Huss is easily my favourite cricketer of all time (from his discipline and commitment to his versatility and attitude) but I feel more for players like Brad Hodge and Stuart Law. Hodge was arguably one of the most technically correct and graceful batsmen of his generation, while Law, who was also technically brilliant, was very much in the Steve Waugh style of player: tough, talented and unyielding in the defence of his wicket. Any player who scores more than 25,000 first-class runs at an average of more than 50 (or 18,000 runs and an average of 49 for Hodge) should have had a long and distinguished Test career. I think we're about to enter the same sort of period for our pace bowlers. (Sadly, our batting talent now seems rather lean.)

Posted by jimbond on (December 31, 2012, 16:11 GMT)

In the later part of the golden era, Australia was reluctant to try new players and those who got tried did not get a long run. Even people like Lehman, Law did not get a long run, and particularly Hussey and Hodge were simply sidelined. Obviously Hussey would have done much more if he could have got an earlier chance. If I have to choose one batsman in the world to bat for me at any required pace, I would choose Mike Hussey over any other (including everyone who has played in the 90s and after).

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 14:48 GMT)

How will Mr. Cricket live without cricket??? Huss plz come back.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 11:59 GMT)

Ok! So Mr. cricket has taken off the international cap. Good memories of michael hussey would be when he requests C. White "don't take a 3" that still makes me smile.

Well Played Hussey, 7 years of amazing international cricket, there is no say if he would have left such an impact with 20 years of cricket. Perhaps he would have had a heavy record book but I am pretty sure they wouldn't be match winning then.

Thats how you leave with respect. Thumbs up and pat on the back!!!!!! :)

Posted by ygkd on (December 31, 2012, 11:32 GMT)

As for David Hussey's international record. He has one hundred in 64 ODIs. His brother, Michael, has three in 185 ODIs. With ODI half-centuries, the ratio again is the same - 13 to 39. So, at that rate I can see no statistical difference in "stand-out innings" in ODIs from one brother to the other (other than the fact that Michael's had more not-outs), and ODIs are the only international form where there's enough innings to make such a comparison. Maybe I'm right about there being a bit of a blind-spot about the junior Hussey.

Posted by ygkd on (December 31, 2012, 11:19 GMT)

@Jared Hansen - Maybe you're right about D. Hussey. Maybe he's played fewer stand-out FC innings than he could have - but then isn't that another way of saying he's been very consistent??? As for Chris Rogers, I'd have picked him more than once. You don't have to be a Victorian conspiracy-theorist to think that. Neither were products of the Vic system, which I believe to be far from perfect. Nor do I reckon 64 ODIs and 39 T20Is outweigh one good 5-Test series against a major opponent overseas. It wouldn't surprise me at all if most limited overs players like David Hussey were prepared, if they could, to make such a swap.

Posted by VivtheGreatest on (December 31, 2012, 11:10 GMT)

I do feel that the Aussie selectors picked him a bit too late. He could definitely have played in the great team of the late 90's in place of the likes of Martyn, Lehmann, Blewett etc.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 11:05 GMT)

miss u husss♥♥ from a diehard michael hussey fan ♥♥♥

Posted by MrKricket on (December 31, 2012, 11:00 GMT)

Shocked to see my favourite Aus player of the last ten years go. As you can see from my username I'm a big fan. Always so fit and enthusiastic. How many games did he save or win? A very honest cricketer too. At least he sees a life beyond cricket. Well done, you will be missed Mr Cricket.

Posted by Faraz1986 on (December 31, 2012, 9:18 GMT)

Mr. Cricket (M. Hussey) played for just 7 years. So surprising, coz the stature the man has as a T20, Test and ODI player is enormous. In such a short time Hussey has gained so much respect and won so many matches for Australia that people fail to achieve even after playing 10-15 years of international cricket.

What a player and what an ambassador for the game of cricket. No surprises why he is called Mr. Cricket.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 9:09 GMT)

It's so hard to believe that we won't be able to see a typical hussey innings anymore. He is the king of steeling singles and two's and in that way he'd suddenly get to 30-40 runs without any fuss....And he'd also start upping the ante when the situation demanded ...He's the perfect team man...Would do anything for his team, bat anywhere and even bowl...Gonna sorely miss his superb pull shots and cover drives...I don't have any reason to watch cricket anymore without Mr. Cricket..

Posted by ReverseSweepIndia on (December 31, 2012, 8:43 GMT)

Hussey, interested in a coaching job in India with truck load of talent (Virats, Pujaras, Rahanes, Chands and many other in batting, Bhubneshwars, Sandeeps, Shamis in bowling) and train loads of money but not able person to guide them. I think a guy like you can do wonder to them and their attitude and teach them how to remain on earth when you are high on performance. We really are in free fall right now in test cricket, not the lack of talent but because lack of proper guidance. And I see no better person than you at the moment for this job. Hope BCCI has some senses left....

Posted by PricelessPak on (December 31, 2012, 8:22 GMT)

barry richard, i don't understand why u have pulled Pakistan players into retirement of Mike Hussey, i think we are here to pay tribute to one great cricketer not to criticize one past great cricketer, keep you "LOVE' for Pakistan greats to you. On Mike Hussey, what to say, in his not so long career probably he has won more matches and fans' hearts than anyone else, truly a great cricketer, we will miss u>>!

Posted by tokoloshe on (December 31, 2012, 8:20 GMT)

Well done Huss. Great career and imagine how great it will be watching from the comfort of your couch! Good decision!

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 8:14 GMT)

Such a good cricketer, he should have been given the chance earlier.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 5:22 GMT)

@HycIass You're including Hughes and Khawaja in the same list as Ponting, Hayden and Langer ? Interesting... and Lehmann too :-/ Neither Hughes nor Khawaja have a right to be in test side Those two are far less deserving of a place than Cox, Siddons, Love, Law, Hodge, etc. were. M. Hussey could have gotten in earlier. But, he didn't. He had an excellant career

Posted by YogifromNY on (December 31, 2012, 5:17 GMT)

FANTASTIC cricketer, Mike Hussey. Can't believe he chose to hang up his boots now, when he is at the top of his game still and captaincy beckoned. Quite understand the reasons he chose to retire, of course. As a fan (US-based supporter of the Indian team and, I would like to think, discerning fan of good cricketers no matter their nationality), I am going to miss this champion's many superb innings played for Australia. Hope to see and hear you in the commentary box, Michael. Good luck with post-international cricket life!

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 5:10 GMT)

I think this is a great lessons for Pakistan Players who refused to retire even though they could hardly see the fast bowlings properly to play.The best example of this was Zaheer Abbas the so called Asian Bradman with a little more than 3000 test runs.He could hardly play Hadlee short pitch bowling before he was kicked out by selectors.It is better to retire with honour than to be kicked out and Mike hussey has done that.

Posted by hycIass on (December 31, 2012, 4:35 GMT)

@Simonviller yes its Khawaja's turn to get a proper run. Every great player has been dropped including Ponting, Lehmann, Hayden, Langer.Hughes and Khawaja (in that order) are the two most talented and best batsmen in Australia under the age of 30 (possibly excluding Warner).They need to be the mainstays of Clarke's batting lineup for the next half-dozen years. Any other selection would constitute gross incompetence on the part of the NSP

Posted by RJHB on (December 31, 2012, 4:31 GMT)

Excellent and informed comments generally. Huss could definitely have been tried earlier when there was some fluffing around with the likes of Katich, Love and deciding whether to play Lehmann or not,and that went on for years after Mark Waugh retired. Wasted.

Posted by Moppa on (December 31, 2012, 4:25 GMT)

@Mervo, Hayden's first crack at Test cricket, 1993-1997 was amazingly unimpressive. Only one score of note which was a singularly unconvincing century (125 v WI at Adelaide). I saw it live and he was dropped about 5 times. By contrast, Slater was a consistent performer for Oz in the period 1993-1995, and then started to get less reliable. @Rahul_Ashok and others saying Hussey's late debut was a selection blunder, which one of the Waugh brothers, Martyn, Hayden, Langer or Ponting should have been dropped for Hussey? Lehmann, after a few troubles, blossomed in the period 2003-05. Katich, like Hussey, had FC runs on the board and was, if anything, harshly treated in the period 2003-04. Therefore, I disagree that it was a blunder. With hindsight he should have toured England in 2005, but hindsight is a wonderful selection tool! @ygkd, Harvey a Test player?? (cough, splutter). You do mean Ian, not Neil? Stuart Clark, from NSW, waited for a late debut like Hussey, so where's the bias?

Posted by 6669 on (December 31, 2012, 4:03 GMT)

a true sport spirit person, that's why we call it MR.CRICKET

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 3:29 GMT)

I think he made the decision too early, but any way its his life. We wont be able to see Mr. Cricket in action in international cricket. Hats off for the wonderful gentlemen who entertained us in every format. We will miss him.!!

Posted by AmirBalouch on (December 31, 2012, 3:06 GMT)

Remember Meeting both Mike Hussey and Shane Watson in 2005 at Lahore Airport after Aus A tour of Pakistan and travelling back with them in the plane. I think it was also the time when his International career was launched. I am surprised there was no mention great talent exhibited in the T20 Semi Finals against Pak chasing 195. Needless to say such a gentleman he is and a match winning player indeed.

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 2:33 GMT)

So many players retiring because of the long tours and being away from family and home. Makes you feel for the pakistani cricketers who have not played a home game in close to four years. Very tough and strong minded people I would say! Hats off!

Posted by Batmanian on (December 31, 2012, 2:04 GMT)

I can't believe there are still Victorian conspiracy theorists out there, and I'm the proudest Victorian there is. For a few years now, Victoria has had great Shield stocks, but little translatable onto the big stage. I was sceptical of Siddle - saw him just as a trier - but the man has proved himself a champion, able to manage the ups and downs and reinventions the modern game needs of bowlers. Apart from him, and the imports D. Hussey and Wade, anyone else knocking down the door for test selection? Pattinson when fit - he's the best of the lot - but who else? I though the Bollinger lobby had a little bit of NSW parochialism to it, then when he played for Australia, he played his heart out. Got some soft hauls, but no complaints from me - the selectors saw what they needed in him. Shame he was injured, as with so many quicks. Same for Cowan - he didn't look test standard, he doesn't look test standard, but he works. Hughes and Khawaja are works in progress; hope they click.

Posted by simonviller on (December 31, 2012, 1:09 GMT)

A great man and wonderful cricketer ! Let's hope that by his retirement , Khawaja would get his due ,to play for" his country " and to prosper from an international career .

Posted by   on (December 31, 2012, 1:09 GMT)

@ygkd Dave Hussey missed out? By playing 100+ international matches? Chris Rogers would be jealous of that haul. Dave Hussey didn't make the test team because his international performances have contained very, very few stand-out innings.

Posted by Mitch069 on (December 31, 2012, 0:41 GMT)

@Rahul and Lewis you guys make a good point and also want to add to those who suggested for Maxwell that this ignores the fact that the number six has generally been a specialist batsman in his own right not an untried allrounder who hasn't established his credentials as either a batsman or as a bowler at Test level. The current batting lineup is fragile enough as it is and to play England with only five specialist batsmen would be to invite certain defeat. A smart selection move in the light of Hussey's retirement would be to play Khawaja as a specialist batsman for the next Test against Sri Lanka to prepare him for what is going to be a very difficult Indian tour and then the Ashes

Posted by robelgordo on (December 30, 2012, 23:52 GMT)

This is revisionism. The reality is Hussey never had a strong Sheild season until 2004/05. He then made his Test debut in 2005/06. It wasn't that he was picked too late, it was that he never fully demonstrated his talents early enough. When you add the talent already in and near the Aus side, he made his debut exactly when he should have. Hussey averaged about 40 for WA, and nearly 70 in English county cricket, at the time he was picked to wear the Baggy Green. You could argue he was picked more on form in England than in Australia.

Posted by funkyandy on (December 30, 2012, 23:01 GMT)

With a test record like his, it must be seen as missed opportunity to not pick Mike Hussey before he was 30. Better than Damien Martyn, better than Katich... a silly mistake by the Aussie selectors. I've no doubt that if Hussey had played in 2005 Ashes series (after being Aus best batsman in the ODI series beforehand), Aus would probably not have lost the series! Hussey will leave a big hole in the most threadbare Aus batting lineup since the mid 1980s. England should romp both 2013 Ashes series

Posted by ygkd on (December 30, 2012, 22:24 GMT)

There are three Hs who missed out - Hodge B., Hussey D. and the oft-forgotten Harvey I. All played for Victoria. Not NSW. Funny that.

Posted by ozwriter on (December 30, 2012, 22:10 GMT)

hussey is a great person on and off the field it seems. great family man. most consistent and reliable run scorer, especially so when the team is in trouble. imagine if he debuted at 22 like phil rubbish hughes did. brettig finds new ways talk players up that others have long given up on, "fighter's instinct and a leader's brain and attitude". anything but cricketing skills seems to be enough. cowan is the prime example of non-cricket factors favouring his selection.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 21:33 GMT)

Australia certainly missed out big time by not having Mike Hussey (not to mention Darren Lehmann or Stuart Clark) in their 2005 Ashes squad to tour England. If the side was Hayden, Langer, Ponting, Martyn, Hussey, Clarke, Gilchrist, Warne, Lee, Clark, McGrath (or Kasprowicz after McGrath's injury)......

Posted by Batmanian on (December 30, 2012, 20:36 GMT)

@OzWally, I think you make a great point about Tendulkar starting at 17. I think he would have struggled for credibility in Australia, even with the whole junior coaching set up in his corner; just with his limited height and less than amazing fielding, the Australian system would have demanded some gimmick from him (such as Warner's timely mastery of the more-Sehway-than-Sehwag approach). Hodge suffered from being considered a little guy, despite his amazing fielding, and he's 178cm, average height for his era. Australia would take a lot of convincing and a lot of Shield and county runs from Tendulkar to try him. Which would have been Australia's loss, of course, but that's the system that built the amazing Taylor-Waugh-Ponting era, and which seems to have left us trying to cook something new up now from a lesser materials.

Posted by Batmanian on (December 30, 2012, 19:19 GMT)

I'm pretty sure if it wasn't for his occasionally disastrous, occasionally world-beating national history in all three forms, the natural choice as a replacement for Hussey would be Cameron White. I think to some extent he did himself in by near giving up on bowling after he was miscast as a bowling allrounder in India. If he were uncapped,at 29, he may well have been in line for a debut as captain in Sydney. Great cricket brain (arguably Australia's best ever tactical eminence grise - Shane Warne - thought so), great leader and when in form, more than capable of playing the Hussey role of middle order pivot and tail-wrangler.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

A lot of talk about Hussey not being given a chance earlier. But it might not escape out notice that Australia had one of the all time greatest test team at that time with Gilly batting at 7...he was just unlucky to be there waiting behind all those people.

Gud luck to Hussey & as a Pakistani i just remember that t20 Semi final's innings as a biggest nightmare..Lolzzz...

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 18:03 GMT)

Hats off for the incredible timing of your retirement, Sachin pls learn how to move on with utmost professionalism! Aus should have played both Ponting, Hussey and Hodge for a smashing middle order which would have been awesome. Even his brother David is incredible. Teacher Mikey, all the best!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 18:01 GMT)

2012 has certainly been a very sad year for international cricket..many greats of the game have left the scene..Dravid, Lax, ponting, Hussey, Sachin in ODIs..Tony Greig left us, Simon Taufell retired from umpiring. Looking back at last decade of cricket and the state of the game now, i think cricket as a game in general is going through a tansitional phase with no real greats playing the game anymore barring few here and there. Hopefully the breed of new cricketers, the kohli's, Starc, Hafeez, Cummins of the world will take responsibility in taking the game forward! Will miss hussey's tenacity on the ground and who can ever forget the way he played in T20 WC semis!! on Hussey's comment on pressure that has to be ensured as an international cricketer..wonder what SRT goes through in a cricket crazy country like India which has irrational audience! and he has sustained 23 years of it without a single controversy or a rash moment on field. tough to be SRT, no one has been there!

Posted by sosba on (December 30, 2012, 16:47 GMT)

We are going to miss Hussey in every format, as for his brother i believe he is the best one day player in the country and should have been given a chance in the baggy green also.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 16:36 GMT)

I wish if Hussey reverse his decision to retire. He has lot more cricket left.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 16:25 GMT)

You cannot find a better player than Hussey who is flexible in every format cricket.

Posted by 777aditya on (December 30, 2012, 15:40 GMT)

Hussey is at least luckier than Hodge - had both these guys been plying their art anywhere in the world, they would well have made over 10000 test runs (Hussey, of course, managed more than 6000 in only 78 matches)! We will be all left wondering what if for these two magnificent talents and to an extent even Hayden. These three H's could easily have been as famous as the WI's three W's had they got chance to play much earlier. In spite of not rewarding these players a full career (can be as long as 23 years and counting elsewhere!), Australia has ruled the roost for more than a decade, which goes on to show their mighty bench strength in the past.

Posted by MZEEM on (December 30, 2012, 15:39 GMT)

Hussey, the classic player, never ever disappointed Australia during his stay. He was wrongly sidelined till thirty to begin test career. Leaving at his peek, Tendulker must learn from him.

Posted by OzWally on (December 30, 2012, 15:14 GMT)

@hhillhumper - "county cricket as a good training ground" - yes it is, and always has been. I remember the days when the Chappell's, among others, had stints over there. It provides the perfect contrast of conditions from OZ to work on technique, mental game, etc. You'd think the sub-con countries would have learnt something from this by now.

And regarding Huss being picked at 30, was it too late? Who was he going to replace? The top 6 at that time were the most dominant in the world for years. Also makes you wonder at what age SRT would have been selected if he was Australian. I know it wouldn't have been at 17.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 15:11 GMT)

one more great batsman going to leave Australia cricket team

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 14:46 GMT)

there is no words for this greatest batsmen ever.... in my opinion he is the best cricketer ever i seen.... i love Mr.Cricket... and God bless him.... and best wishes to him....

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 14:41 GMT)

A consisitent and exceedingly professional sportsman...he got the job done

Posted by ozziespirit on (December 30, 2012, 14:28 GMT)

The hole in our batting line up is now a huge one. Phil Hughes is not the answer as the previous four years have shown, he will simply get out the same way as England got him in 2009 and the last one. What about Ferguson? What about David Hussey? These are players that should've been given a chance much much earlier. Now everyone from India onwards will be queuing up for a bowl at us. Jackson Bird looks good after one test, but can he swing it both ways lie England have in Anderson? Hopefully he'll learn that before next year, if not Australia are in big problem with a predictable seam attack, no spin option worth a mention and our batting line up where if Warner fails early like the whitewash we got this year in England, big trouble looms. New blood, whether it be old or young, is needed and fast.

Posted by OhhhhhMattyMatty on (December 30, 2012, 14:18 GMT)

Clearly scared of another 2 Ashes defeats and legged it back for the comfort of home. Decent player, but utimately flopped when it really really mattered!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 14:13 GMT)

We miss u Mr Cricket, Thanks for entertainment

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 14:02 GMT)

This is worse than ponting's retirement. My favorite player, Mr cricket....there was still some 2-3 years left in him. This is the most shocking retirement of them all in 2012.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (December 30, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

I don't think that there's any doubt that Husset was a better player when he entered the national team than he would have been had he been picked much younger. That said, I'm not sure that it made him a better player in the end. Hussey is a great talent and he would have shown that regardless. I think that a lot of young players could benefit from more time in domestic cricket before getting an international callup but I wouldn't espouse making them wait until they're 30. Most batsmen would have a good feel for their game by about 25 and if they have more room for improvement then that can be done as well at international level as at domestic. By that age they should be less affected by the tough times that they are likely to face when making the step up.

Posted by hycIass on (December 30, 2012, 13:21 GMT)

Lewis and Edward I also like the batting order you have suggested. Put Khawaja at 4 allowing Watson to bat at 6 and bowl more overs. Khawaja has rebounded from the disappointment of last summer to force his way back into Test reckoning with solid form for Queensland. Having been nominated as stand-by for Clarke, he should get first crack at replacing Hussey. For Maxwell he is a good prospect but his batting at pressent is not strong enough to command a place as a specialist batsman and his off-spin lacks the potency to play as a front bowler.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 12:56 GMT)

A lesson for sachin tendulkar . he should retire now to retain his honour

Posted by Paul_Rampley on (December 30, 2012, 12:41 GMT)

Lewis is correct, Khawaja should replace Hussey. If Khawaja comes in to replace Hussey then he should bat at 4 as this will allow Watson to bat at 6 and bowl more overs, we need Watson both batting and bowling. I would have considered D Hussey but at 35 age works against him and he has averaged 17 in shield this summer.

Posted by hhillbumper on (December 30, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

Isn't it amazing how many of these players seem to develop in County Cricket? Is that because it is such a good training ground

Posted by shuvo_bba on (December 30, 2012, 11:33 GMT)

One thing really for sure: Picking Huss up at 30 was the most horrific selection blunder made by CA ever. Mr. Cricket is totally incredible the way he is around on and off the field. He will be surely be missed by the gentle cricketing community. however have that taste of family game HUSS.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 10:58 GMT)

I wasn't expecting this. The retirement of Mr Reliable. Clarke's the only one left now who possess true world class quality. I've lost count of the times he and Hussey saved Oz's bacon in the last couple years. Kawaja and Hughes are going to have to mature into world class batsmen FAST. Otherwise I fear another drubbing in the coming Ashes.

Posted by Masud_BITK on (December 30, 2012, 9:34 GMT)

IPL will have him full time now. I think, it would be great to see him playing next 3-4 years in shield cricket and T20 worldwide. Is there any more windows for Hussey in BPL now? I can still remember last T20 where Pakistan lost to Hussey BUT not to Australians.

Posted by AnImpatientFan on (December 30, 2012, 6:58 GMT)

Let us not forget little brother David.

12459 FC runs at 53.7. Aged 35.

Could call him even more unlucky than 'ol Michael Hussey.

Posted by Edwards_Anderson on (December 30, 2012, 6:26 GMT)

Selectors got it spot on getting Huges in for Punter, Khawaja was a close second to him but Hughes deserved it. Now its Khawaja's turn to get Hussey's spot. Khawaja looks like a new player under boof, more confident, more attacking and sharp on the field. Would be exciting to see him at 3. Hopefully watson stays on the field longer if he bats at 4 as it will give him more of a rest between innings.. it's a transition yr for the aussie team and they need to give some young blood the opportunity to blossum!

Posted by crankypete on (December 30, 2012, 6:00 GMT)

Why not do some analysis. You will find a direct correlation between the age of debut and the longevity and success of a career. Hussey is almost the only ex spoon. But you can't really argue he was unlucky, his numbers were no better than boof, katich, sump

He really is the latter day rick mccosker, a late bloomer who hung in thru skill, application and the absence of disruptions such as wsc.

Well done, but not a pattern we should repeat. Look what happened when John benaud, Ross Edwards and mccosker were picked under chappelli, immediate success but delayed rebuilding. Caused by lawry Stacky Sheehan chappelli and redpath retirements, the last 4 between 74-6.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 6:00 GMT)

It was so sad to see him come to tears at the end of the interview...:( But i'm glad that he's happy with his decision! Best of luck for everything else in life Huss!

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 5:51 GMT)

The Man is Legend. Cricket Australia is going to miss him. Too Bigger boots to be filled. Cheers for the wonderful cricket you have given us.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 5:45 GMT)

Hussey replacel Michael Bevan in the Aussie team. Bevan was a super talent and so as Mike Hussey. I do not measure a player by the number of years he played international cricket. What is more important is the entertainment they given to the spectators. Hessey is a great entertainer and world class cricketer in all three formats.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 5:39 GMT)

I think if a player shows he has the talentat 19 or 20 he should play international cricket, but however there are special, but rare, cases of players who "mature" late. Faf Du Plessis is a prime example of that. He struggled in ODI cricket and got himself dropped. However, in the last few years in IPL and of course test cricket he has shown himself to be a world class batsman. The problem the selectors have is to know when a player is ready for the big stage. I believe Quinton de Kock, at 20, is ready for test cricket as a specialist batsman if not a keeper / batsman.

Posted by Marcio on (December 30, 2012, 5:30 GMT)

We'll miss you, mate. What a great ambassador you have been for cricket. All the best.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 5:29 GMT)

It sad for a all cricket fans around the world,such a great cricketer like Hussey is retiring from International cricket.As an Indian I like Hussey more than any other australian players,because he is polite,generous and a great server of the game.I don't know how he was not selected in his younger age on seeing his first class records.He may not have scored more runs or played more International matches,but he is one of the great cricketer and legend of the game all time for me.Good luck for your future

Posted by Sunil_Batra on (December 30, 2012, 5:15 GMT)

Huss was probably the greatest selection blunder in the past 30 years of Australia cricket - they should have selected him when he was 24-25 years old, not 30 years. That decision robbed us possibly 5-10 years of cricket from the great man. With the great man retiring, Usman Khawaja should get the call up for the vacant hussey position given he is the next best shield batsman after Hughes and stand in player for Clarke. He has improved on all aspects of his game since being dropped and can't wait to see him back. I was dissapointed to see Khawaja not picked for Watson given they were looking for an allrounder but at number 6 we need a solid batsman and Khawaja offeres that. What's more it will be good for Khawaja to finally get a chance to come in for a full series and not as a injury replacement as he as done all his career for Australia.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 5:07 GMT)

Mr Cricket, you will be missed

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 5:00 GMT)

Thanks for entertaining all these years Mr. Hussey. You are one of the most consistent cricketers I have ever seen. I am sure filling your place in Oz batting order is not that easy. All the best and have a wonderful time with your family.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 4:56 GMT)

Mr. Cricket still has Cricket but he is right his personal life also matter, will have to wait for decades to find out an other Mr. Cricket. May You have a Joy full Life..

Posted by landl47 on (December 30, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

The departure of Hussey leaves Clarke as the only Australian who has experience of winning an Ashes series. It also takes away the second of the two senior players (Ponting was the other) on whom Clarke could rely to set an example of hard work and attention to detail for their less experienced colleagues. Huss will be hugely missed on and off the field.

Posted by Mary_786 on (December 30, 2012, 4:45 GMT)

Hussey is unique in that he got picked so late, if you look at all the top nations aroudn the world in SA, England and even India who are rebuilding their sides they are bringing in 24-27 year olds who have had good domestic cricket experience and are ready to step up for the next 8-10 years. That's why Hughes selection made sense because he is 25 and scoring in shield. Same applies with Khawaja to replace Hussey, at 26 and as second best shield batsman this year he is ready to step up and not be used simply as a stand in batsman. He has done the improvements that were asked of him(i.e fielding, running and scoring more aggressively under Lehman's guidance). Move Watto to 6, Khawaja into 4. Gives us a solid (yet young and unproven) batting line-up as Warner- Cowan- Hughes- Khawaja- Clarke- Watto- Wade-Johnson- Siddle- Patterson- Lyon with Cummins, Bird, Starc, Hilf, Harris, Beer as back-up bowlers.

Posted by Mervo on (December 30, 2012, 4:34 GMT)

Matthew Hayden had the same delayed entry to test cricket. He was of course from QLD , making his task harder. Also he had to face the Southern press who labelled him a 'boundary slapper', without an opener's technique and also that we could not possibly have two left handed openers, with Mark Taylor being the other...

So we had Michael Slater for too long until his average career was finally ended and Hayden got his chance. 31 test centuries later, we were left to wonder why might have been if State bias and prejudice had not been so influential in keeping Hayden out so long.

Posted by shaalim on (December 30, 2012, 4:27 GMT)

Big whole in Australia batting, Now there will be no one to support collapsing Australia batting.... most of the players are unreliable.... although good.

Posted by hycIass on (December 30, 2012, 4:26 GMT)

The fact is that Hussey should have been selected before the age of 30 but the golden age of Aussie cricket stopped that from happening. At present we have 2 cricketers who had a taste of international cricket, got dropped and have scored in shield to come back as stronger and improved cricketers. First was Hughes who got Punter's spot and now we have Khawaja waiting in the wings to take Hussey's spot, both have been the leading shield scorers this sesason and have worked on the improvements that was asked of them by the panel. Khawaja deserves another opportunity, as highlighted by his selection once again as cover for Clarke for the SCG Test.At 26 and with a first-class career average of 45, he is one of the more successful fringe players in the country.The fact he has already tasted the pressure of the Test arena will also be in his favour.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 4:16 GMT)

hard work will take you to next level

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Daniel BrettigClose
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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