December 07, 1982, Subiaco, Perth, Western Australia
Right hand bat
Left arm wrist spin
After battling injuries, poor form and switching states, the planets finally aligned for Beau Casson in 2007-08 - then quickly swung him out of orbit. From Test player to struggling state bowler, Casson spiralled out of favour and focus as soon as Jason Krejza, Bryce McGain and Cameron White were picked for the 2008 India tour. His three wickets in the final match of the West Indies series must have felt like they never happened and by the end of 2008-09 Nathan Hauritz, a New South Wales team-mate, was the country's leading spinner. Casson had celebrated seven breakthroughs in eight Pura Cup games at an average of 91.00 and his control left him at the Gabba, where he was ordered out of the attack for delivering high full tosses. In an effort to find some confidence Casson decided to spend the winter trying not to go troppo in Darwin grade cricket.
Casson was New South Wales' first-choice spinner for much of 2007-08 as Stuart MacGill spent time in the Australia team and then recovered from surgery. Most spectacularly, Casson then stood in when MacGill decided to retire mid-series in the West Indies, becoming the country's 401st Test player. By that stage he already had a Cricket Australia contract following his useful returns, but that was cancelled after a year. Casson relished the extra responsibility without MacGill in those happy days and used the helpful SCG conditions to collect 29 Pura Cup wickets at 35.13, while he was a valuable lower-order batsman with 485 runs at 60.62. He made 89 and grabbed four wickets in the state's final triumph to convince the national selectors of his worth. Not even the most optimistic Casson fan could have predicted the honours at the start of the season. He was coming off a disappointing 2006-07 when he managed only seven wickets at 72 from seven Pura Cup games, and was light years behind MacGill, Brad Hogg, Dan Cullen and Cullen Bailey in the slow-bowling pecking order.
A left-arm wrist-spinner capable of big turn and with a hard-to-pick wrong'un, Casson moved to Sydney after 2005-06 as he searched for a way to halt his inflating bowling average. A shoulder injury hampered him in his first summer away from Perth and although he tried to push through, a reconstruction was required. Casson, who was desperate to make the SCG his home, walked out on Western Australia after his eight outings for them in 2005-06 yielded 17 victims at 54.23. He had burst on to the Warriors' scene with ten wickets against South Australia in his second first-class appearance in 2002-03, and a season later earned another Man of the Match prize with eight against Queensland. A member of the Australia Under-19 side that won the World Cup in 2002, he has also attended the Academy.
Born with a heart problem, Casson was regularly monitored and had an adjusted training regime. The condition eventually forced him to retire from all forms of cricket, at 28, in November 2011.
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