Shaun Tait February 1, 2014

'You can either bowl quick or you can't'

Shaun Tait likes to keep an eye on the speed gun, makes no-bouncer pacts with other fast bowlers, and loves him some TV
18

You've played 19 T20Is for Australia. Do you still hold hope of adding to that number?
If Australia wanted to select me for T20s, I would play.

There's a T20 World Cup around the corner. Any chance the call might come?
I don't think that will be happening now.

Tell us about the fast bowlers' union. Have you heard or made a pact not to bounce someone?
I've made pacts with a lot of bowlers around the world about no bouncers. Never with a spinner, though!

You've bowled the quickest ball ever in Australia. What's the secret to bowling rapid?
I don't know what the secret to quick bowling is. It's one of those things where you can either do it or you can't.

Do you keep an eye on the speed gun during games?
I sometimes keep an eye on the gun, but they don't always show it.

Which batsman from the past would you have loved to have had a bowl at?
I would have loved to have bowled to Viv Richards. They say he took it to the bowler, which would have made for a great, aggressive contest.

You have played T20 cricket over the world in all the big leagues. Where's the best?
I think the IPL is the best competition, followed by the Big Bash in Australia. The IPL stops a nation of a billion people. Playing with Indians and other players from different countries has been the best experience of my career.

Which one thing could you not live without on a desert island?
Pay TV.

Who's been the toughest batsman you've ever bowled to?
My good mate Brad Hodge.

Which of your team-mates - past or present - has the worst dressing-room banter?
James Faulkner.

Are you a fast bowler who enjoys his batting?
Yes, but only when facing spin!

Are you big on keeping mementoes from different teams through the years?
I've kept a playing shirt from every team I've played for. The cupboard is getting full.

Give us one name to look out for who's destined for a big future.
Travis Head from South Australia. He's an attacking young batsman.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SeamingWicket on February 2, 2014, 23:10 GMT

    Michael Holding was probably the fastest in terms of average speed And he never actually put maximum effort into his deliveries He was far more accurate than the other express pace bowlers like Akhtar, Lee, Thomson, Tait etc This is why i rate Holding amongst the very fast (express pace) bowlers as the best

  • on February 2, 2014, 13:55 GMT

    Tait is an excellent pace bowler.

  • Inswingking on February 2, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    Agree both Tamilpower and drinks.break, people should really just not slag people off for the hell of it although if that's what pleases them the there sad existence is all for them. From your comments you guys actually read the article for what it was meant to be. Also, one would think that with all the modern technology available these days they should be able to gauge pretty accurately how fast Thommo (and others) were bowling just from old footage. Sure there is still plenty of WSC and other footage in the archives. Would solve a few arguments.

  • KiwiRocker- on February 2, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    Did he say that he would have loved bowling to King Richards? That is bit ambitious for someone who played handful matches for Australia. Having said that dreams are free. King Richards was the greatest ever. King ruled the world before so called flat track Gods, walls and Kohlis emerged who ironically can not play medium pacers and shot pitching bowling...King faced the real fast bowlers and that too without a helmat. No wonder, great Imran Khan ( himself one of three greatest all rounders world has ever seen) had commented that King Richards was the only batsmen he felt intimidated by.....I wish that those good old real cricket days could return when there was no non sense T20 shows and greedy power struggles...Wasim Akram hitting a six to King Richards in Nehru cup final and kIng smiling to congratulate was the real cricket. People have already forgotten flat track Gods, but Kind would always be remembered!

  • Jagger on February 1, 2014, 23:35 GMT

    It stands to reason that Thommo at his best was quickest. No one doubts Holding's pace, and Thommo was proven to be faster. Prior to 1976, Desmond Haynes said he couldn't track deliveries Thommo bowled they were coming so fast. Both Richards and Gavaskar say that Thommo was the fastest they ever faced. Rod Marsh, Ian Chappell and Ashley Mallett, using all their observational experience on a cricket field as a group, state Thompson would have given 180km/h a fright at his best. No other can hold a candle to that.

  • on February 1, 2014, 18:20 GMT

    he ran out of gas so early in his career and could not do much but few speedy overs at times! also disappointed Pointing by say no to test games! not a powerful athlete, i guess Brett Lee or Shoab were billions of times better than this chap !

  • getgopi on February 1, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    The one big issue I have with the IPL are the short boundaries. Even a misfit of the 120k bowling of Indian "pacers" will go for a six. Sticking to a game plan, working in tandem with other bowlers, embracing the conditions and being able to deliver yorkers at will are much more important. That may not always work against a Dhoni or an AB but it will put pressure on other batsmen.

  • on February 1, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    I understand, he had some external issues to deal with, therefore had to take a break from the game. But if he is available now, why not pick him! I mean how many, bowlers are there in world cricket, who can generate such pace!! Anyway, it will be bit of a waste for the fans and game alike, if he goes through his career by taking part in t20 based leagues and not international cricket.

  • on February 1, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    Viv wud have taken him to cleaners for sure ...

  • hyclass on February 1, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    Tate bowls exceptionally fast in exceptionally short spells. For that purpose and in the age of 20/20, he is unpretentious, good value.I recall a bowler called Duncan Spencer, who played State cricket, before breaking down with injury. One spell he delivered to Viv Richards in CC, was described by Viv as the fastest he ever faced. It's possible that batsmen rate pace differently, dependent upon the wicket and the form that they are in. In the years since I first watched Test cricket,Jeff Thomson rates quickest, though he was rarely measured and only on occasions that were after injury or suspension breaks It's possible that the fastest ever,may be 5'7", slim Aboriginal bowler Eddie Gilbert. Bradman, fresh from 974 runs at 139 vs Eng in 1930 and Larwood in his pomp,describes thus,a spell in which Gilbert knocked the bat from his hands, his hat off & he fell avoiding him, before losing his wicket-' I unhesitatingly class that spell as faster than Larwood or anyone else I ever saw.'

  • SeamingWicket on February 2, 2014, 23:10 GMT

    Michael Holding was probably the fastest in terms of average speed And he never actually put maximum effort into his deliveries He was far more accurate than the other express pace bowlers like Akhtar, Lee, Thomson, Tait etc This is why i rate Holding amongst the very fast (express pace) bowlers as the best

  • on February 2, 2014, 13:55 GMT

    Tait is an excellent pace bowler.

  • Inswingking on February 2, 2014, 3:32 GMT

    Agree both Tamilpower and drinks.break, people should really just not slag people off for the hell of it although if that's what pleases them the there sad existence is all for them. From your comments you guys actually read the article for what it was meant to be. Also, one would think that with all the modern technology available these days they should be able to gauge pretty accurately how fast Thommo (and others) were bowling just from old footage. Sure there is still plenty of WSC and other footage in the archives. Would solve a few arguments.

  • KiwiRocker- on February 2, 2014, 2:58 GMT

    Did he say that he would have loved bowling to King Richards? That is bit ambitious for someone who played handful matches for Australia. Having said that dreams are free. King Richards was the greatest ever. King ruled the world before so called flat track Gods, walls and Kohlis emerged who ironically can not play medium pacers and shot pitching bowling...King faced the real fast bowlers and that too without a helmat. No wonder, great Imran Khan ( himself one of three greatest all rounders world has ever seen) had commented that King Richards was the only batsmen he felt intimidated by.....I wish that those good old real cricket days could return when there was no non sense T20 shows and greedy power struggles...Wasim Akram hitting a six to King Richards in Nehru cup final and kIng smiling to congratulate was the real cricket. People have already forgotten flat track Gods, but Kind would always be remembered!

  • Jagger on February 1, 2014, 23:35 GMT

    It stands to reason that Thommo at his best was quickest. No one doubts Holding's pace, and Thommo was proven to be faster. Prior to 1976, Desmond Haynes said he couldn't track deliveries Thommo bowled they were coming so fast. Both Richards and Gavaskar say that Thommo was the fastest they ever faced. Rod Marsh, Ian Chappell and Ashley Mallett, using all their observational experience on a cricket field as a group, state Thompson would have given 180km/h a fright at his best. No other can hold a candle to that.

  • on February 1, 2014, 18:20 GMT

    he ran out of gas so early in his career and could not do much but few speedy overs at times! also disappointed Pointing by say no to test games! not a powerful athlete, i guess Brett Lee or Shoab were billions of times better than this chap !

  • getgopi on February 1, 2014, 18:19 GMT

    The one big issue I have with the IPL are the short boundaries. Even a misfit of the 120k bowling of Indian "pacers" will go for a six. Sticking to a game plan, working in tandem with other bowlers, embracing the conditions and being able to deliver yorkers at will are much more important. That may not always work against a Dhoni or an AB but it will put pressure on other batsmen.

  • on February 1, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    I understand, he had some external issues to deal with, therefore had to take a break from the game. But if he is available now, why not pick him! I mean how many, bowlers are there in world cricket, who can generate such pace!! Anyway, it will be bit of a waste for the fans and game alike, if he goes through his career by taking part in t20 based leagues and not international cricket.

  • on February 1, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    Viv wud have taken him to cleaners for sure ...

  • hyclass on February 1, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    Tate bowls exceptionally fast in exceptionally short spells. For that purpose and in the age of 20/20, he is unpretentious, good value.I recall a bowler called Duncan Spencer, who played State cricket, before breaking down with injury. One spell he delivered to Viv Richards in CC, was described by Viv as the fastest he ever faced. It's possible that batsmen rate pace differently, dependent upon the wicket and the form that they are in. In the years since I first watched Test cricket,Jeff Thomson rates quickest, though he was rarely measured and only on occasions that were after injury or suspension breaks It's possible that the fastest ever,may be 5'7", slim Aboriginal bowler Eddie Gilbert. Bradman, fresh from 974 runs at 139 vs Eng in 1930 and Larwood in his pomp,describes thus,a spell in which Gilbert knocked the bat from his hands, his hat off & he fell avoiding him, before losing his wicket-' I unhesitatingly class that spell as faster than Larwood or anyone else I ever saw.'

  • drinks.break on February 1, 2014, 13:21 GMT

    @Sir_Francis, which reliably measured delivery of Thommo's was faster than Tait's fastest?

    Any fool can understand that when the interviewer says that Tait bowled "the quickest ball ever in Australia", he means "the quickest ever reliably measured in match conditions".

    Accurate speed guns weren't invented when Thommo bowled. Therefore Tait holds the record.

  • drinks.break on February 1, 2014, 12:50 GMT

    @HasnainKhan - "hiding when the going gets tough"?!? Tait suffered what they call nowadays a "stress-related illness". When Jonathan Trott went home from the Ashes, no one accused him of "hiding" ... everyone wished him the best in his recovery. Given what other cricketers have managed after a similar experience (think Trescothick, who never played cricket outside England again), the amount Tait HAS managed to play since breaking down is testament to his will and fight.

  • Tamilpower on February 1, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Love how absolute nobodies are slagging him off! He was what he was! That is how the game works at that level! He is a guy who runs in and slings it as fast as he can! I never detected any pretensions in his interview which suggest that he thought he was an Akram, Younis, Marshall, Mcgrath or Ambrose!

  • on February 1, 2014, 10:38 GMT

    He cannot even bowl straight...ridiculous bowler!!

  • MrPud on February 1, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    Not even worthy of putting his name alongside Viv in the same comment.

  • on February 1, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    English players get a lot of criticism for hiding when the going gets tough, not sure why people forget Tait for taking a break from cricket right after a horrible comeback test match against India back in 2008. It's only good for his ego that he actually forgot how limited a bowler he really is, worst part about him is how weak he is under pressure.

  • SpartaArmy on February 1, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    @Sir_Francis: May be you are right about Jeff Thomson being the fastest bowler that AUS ever had, but calling ST as nobody is nothing but imbecility on your part. Nobody is some one who comments on internet wall and not known to any one except his family. Not some one who is considered one of the fastest bowler AUS ever had.

  • Sir_Francis on February 1, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    "You've bowled the quickest ball ever in Australia"

    Seriously???

    Ever heard of Jeff Thomson by any chance.

    Tait doesn't qualify as a fast bowler. You have to be able to bowl more than 24 deliveries in a day. He's a nobody who wasn't keen to do the work to be a real bowler.

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  • Sir_Francis on February 1, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    "You've bowled the quickest ball ever in Australia"

    Seriously???

    Ever heard of Jeff Thomson by any chance.

    Tait doesn't qualify as a fast bowler. You have to be able to bowl more than 24 deliveries in a day. He's a nobody who wasn't keen to do the work to be a real bowler.

  • SpartaArmy on February 1, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    @Sir_Francis: May be you are right about Jeff Thomson being the fastest bowler that AUS ever had, but calling ST as nobody is nothing but imbecility on your part. Nobody is some one who comments on internet wall and not known to any one except his family. Not some one who is considered one of the fastest bowler AUS ever had.

  • on February 1, 2014, 7:02 GMT

    English players get a lot of criticism for hiding when the going gets tough, not sure why people forget Tait for taking a break from cricket right after a horrible comeback test match against India back in 2008. It's only good for his ego that he actually forgot how limited a bowler he really is, worst part about him is how weak he is under pressure.

  • MrPud on February 1, 2014, 9:18 GMT

    Not even worthy of putting his name alongside Viv in the same comment.

  • on February 1, 2014, 10:38 GMT

    He cannot even bowl straight...ridiculous bowler!!

  • Tamilpower on February 1, 2014, 11:19 GMT

    Love how absolute nobodies are slagging him off! He was what he was! That is how the game works at that level! He is a guy who runs in and slings it as fast as he can! I never detected any pretensions in his interview which suggest that he thought he was an Akram, Younis, Marshall, Mcgrath or Ambrose!

  • drinks.break on February 1, 2014, 12:50 GMT

    @HasnainKhan - "hiding when the going gets tough"?!? Tait suffered what they call nowadays a "stress-related illness". When Jonathan Trott went home from the Ashes, no one accused him of "hiding" ... everyone wished him the best in his recovery. Given what other cricketers have managed after a similar experience (think Trescothick, who never played cricket outside England again), the amount Tait HAS managed to play since breaking down is testament to his will and fight.

  • drinks.break on February 1, 2014, 13:21 GMT

    @Sir_Francis, which reliably measured delivery of Thommo's was faster than Tait's fastest?

    Any fool can understand that when the interviewer says that Tait bowled "the quickest ball ever in Australia", he means "the quickest ever reliably measured in match conditions".

    Accurate speed guns weren't invented when Thommo bowled. Therefore Tait holds the record.

  • hyclass on February 1, 2014, 13:41 GMT

    Tate bowls exceptionally fast in exceptionally short spells. For that purpose and in the age of 20/20, he is unpretentious, good value.I recall a bowler called Duncan Spencer, who played State cricket, before breaking down with injury. One spell he delivered to Viv Richards in CC, was described by Viv as the fastest he ever faced. It's possible that batsmen rate pace differently, dependent upon the wicket and the form that they are in. In the years since I first watched Test cricket,Jeff Thomson rates quickest, though he was rarely measured and only on occasions that were after injury or suspension breaks It's possible that the fastest ever,may be 5'7", slim Aboriginal bowler Eddie Gilbert. Bradman, fresh from 974 runs at 139 vs Eng in 1930 and Larwood in his pomp,describes thus,a spell in which Gilbert knocked the bat from his hands, his hat off & he fell avoiding him, before losing his wicket-' I unhesitatingly class that spell as faster than Larwood or anyone else I ever saw.'

  • on February 1, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    Viv wud have taken him to cleaners for sure ...