Mathew Inness has joined the growing band of state cricketers to end their careers as he departs in the same match as his Western Australia team-mate Justin Langer. However Inness, a left-arm fast bowler, is staying involved with the Warriors and will become their new strength and conditioning co-ordinator.
Inness moved to Western Australia ahead of 2005-06 and although he struggled to hold down a place in their team for two seasons he became an important part of the attack this summer. Prior to his final game, against Tasmania in Perth, Inness was second on the state's wicket tally for the season with 33 victims at 21.18 including three five-wicket hauls.
"It has been satisfying to work my way back into a regular spot in the Warriors' Pura Cup team, play well and prove to myself that I could still perform at this level," Inness said. "I'm pleased to have the opportunity to retire on my own terms, and going straight into my new role will make the transition to life after playing a lot smoother."
Most of his first-class career was spent with Victoria, where he burst onto the scene at the age of 19 in 1997-98. In his debut game against New South Wales he claimed the wickets of three international players, including Michael Slater for a duck.
The following season he was Victoria's third top wicket-taker despite playing only half the matches and in 1999-2000 he grabbed a hat-trick against New South Wales. That summer he collected 31 wickets and 43 followed in the next campaign before injuries began to take their toll.
He also suffered a bout of glandular fever in 2003-04, the same season he was overlooked for the Pura Cup final, and he asked to be released from the Bushrangers. They declined, retaining him for 2004-05, although he could not rediscover his top form and a move to Perth loomed as his best chance of continuing his state career.
His departure at the age of 30 is surprising given his return to regular Pura Cup action, however he leaves the Warriors in good hands with Steve Magoffin, Ben Edmondson and Brett Dorey still a potent pace attack. Before his last match Inness had appeared in 80 first-class games and had 274 wickets at 26.04.
This season has proved to be a summer of change in the Australian domestic ranks with the retirements of Inness, Langer, Jason Gillespie, Darren Lehmann, Matthew Elliott, Jimmy Maher, Michael Kasprowicz, Matthew Nicholson and Michael Di Venuto, along with the international players Adam Gilchrist and Brad Hogg.