South Africa news October 8, 2015

Rusty Theron retires from South African domestic cricket

File photo - Rusty Theron could not break into the national team, but was a vital part of the Warriors' plans in domestic cricket © AFP

Fast bowler Rusty Theron has retired from South African domestic cricket following continual knee problems, but he remains available to play in T20 leagues.* Theron played four ODIs and nine T20s for South Africa between October 2010 and March 2012 and was a senior member of the Warriors franchise. He played his last game for them in February.

"After the CPL this year and a bothersome knee, I decided to focus on my studies for now. I will still be looking to forward to the CPL, IPL and some cricket in the UK as of next year when I have had some time to work on and settle the niggles that have bugged me for the last while," Theron told ESPNcricinfo.

Theron's hand was forced during the Caribbean Premier League this year when he suffered a knee injury from which he did not think he would recover in time to honour his deal with the Warriors. Theron was only due to turn our for them in the twenty-over competition but withdrew to concentrate on his studied in the USA and allow his knee to settle.

Theron had a reputation for being a skillful death bowler, and earned a national contract before he even played a game for South Africa. He was contracted in February 2010, after a season in which he played a major role in the Warriors winning their first, and to date, only trophies in the franchise era. They lifted both the forty-over and twenty-over cups and Theron was their leading wicket-taker in both competitions. In the forty-over tournament, he was the leading bowler overall with 21 wickets from nine matches at 18.80 and in the twenty-over event, he was third overall with 11 wickets from eight matches at 19.27.

Theron took 12 wickets in 50-over cricket at 14.41 and 12 again in T20 cricket at an average of 21.75, which included series against India and Australia. However, he struggled to establish a regular place for himself in a career that was plagued by injury.

A stress fracture kept him out of cricket for almost a full season in the 2012-13 summer. Trouble with his knee meant he did not play any first-class cricket last season too. Theron has relocated to the USA where he is studying English and hopes to go into teaching on his return home.

Theron's retirement has left the Warriors without an international seamer after Wayne Parnell moved to the Cobras over the winter. They have some experience in the form of Basheeru-Deen Walters and will bank on the likes of Simon Harmer, who is part of South Africa's Test squad, to mentor a young attack.

*14.00GMT, October 8: This article was updated after Rusty Theron spoke to ESPNcricinfo.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

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