Michael Edward Killeen Hussey
May 27, 1975, Mt Lawley, Perth, Western Australia
Mr Cricket, Huss
Left hand bat
Right arm medium
Middle order batter
An accumulator who is virtually impossible to distract at the crease, Michael Hussey waited a decade before becoming an overnight star. Others might have given up, or at least relaxed, during all that time in the backblocks of the Sheffield Shield and County Championship, but Hussey maintained the intensity and was soon living in a statistical world occupied by few others. After two years in the Test side his average rose to 86.18; it had already taken 29 ODIs for his mean to drop below 100. In just 166 days he become the fastest player to 1000 Test runs, but he was reluctant to dwell on the records because he knew the sky-high ride wouldn't last.
He was right and the recession hit hard in 2008-09. Despite being forced to battle for runs and his spot in the various teams, he continued to talk cheerfully and walk quickly. As a batsman he is old fashioned, preferring to work and caress the ball, especially through cover with a crisp drive. There are times when he breaks free - batting with the No.11 or in the final stages of a limited-overs innings - and in that mood he can pull ferociously, but mostly he travels at a safe speed. If they let him, he would bat for a week without becoming bored.
Having grown up as a specialist opener, he has spent most of his time in the middle order with Australia and hasn't complained. His team ethic is on display in the field, where he is a reliable catcher at gully and a regular encourager, and he is scrupulous at practice. The overall attitude earned him the Mr Cricket nickname, a moniker of fun and extreme respect.
His doggedness at the crease created perceptions of his inability to stay in tune with the T20 format, but he busted the myth in a freak innings - an unbeaten 24-ball 60 in which he razed down 18 needed off the last over, bowled by Saeed Ajmal, to take Australia into the 2010 World T20 final. Having established himself in the shortest format, he then played a key role in Chennai Super Kings achieving the IPL and Champions League double in 2010, followed by another IPL crown in 2011.
Hussey's entry may have been a quiet one, but his announcement of an international retirement in December 2012 invoked shock. He, however continued to play in the shortest format as a freelance cricketer. He played for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League from 2011 to 2013, before moving to Sydney Thunder, with whom he won the title in January 2016.
In between his stints as a global T20 star, Hussey also undertook short-term assignments as batting consultant with South Africa and Australia. In February 2016, St Lucia Zouks acquired his services for a season when they signed him for USD 90,000 at the CPL draft.
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