John Hastings, the Australia fast bowler, has retired from all forms of cricket after doctors couldn't guarantee that he wouldn't have a bleed in his lungs when he bowled. A mystery condition - the first symptoms of which he had first experienced several years ago - had forced Hastings to put his career on hold last month.
Hastings, who had played for the Melbourne Stars for seven BBL seasons and captained them in 2017-18, had moved to the Sydney Sixers for the upcoming season, but had to end his career with a "lot of grey area" still surrounding his "long-term health".
"There was just a lot of grey area surrounding long-term health, whether it was causing any damage, and if there was any potential to have a fatal bleed on the field," Hastings told the Sydney Morning Herald. "They just really couldn't say yes or no. And I wasn't happy with that.
"It was a pretty tough little period, the last five or six months, but I've come to terms with it now, and I'm pretty comfortable with where it's all at.
"I would have loved a Big Bash title. That would have been unbelievable because I think it's an amazing competition. And we had our chances with the Stars throughout the years. [But] it wasn't to be."
Hastings, 33, played one Test, 29 ODIs and nine T20Is for Australia. He had retired from Test and ODIs in October 2017 to become a T20 specialist. Overall, Hastings played 75 first-class matches for Victoria at home and Durham and Worcestershire in the English county circuit. In that time, he scored 11 fifties with a top score of 93 and took 239 wickets, including seven five-wicket hauls, at an average of 27.22. He played 113 List A matches for 179 wickets at an average of 27.59 and his best figures of 6 for 45 came for Australia against Sri Lanka in August 2016.
In addition to playing for Victoria and the Stars on home soil, Hastings also represented Chennai Super Kings and Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, Durham and Worcestershire in England, Kandurata Warriors in the Sri Lanka Premier League and Quetta Gladiators in the PSL earlier this year. He played 106 T20s overall for 116 wickets and finished with an average of 24.70 and economy rate of 7.95.
"I just loved to help my mates out and win games of cricket," Hastings said. "Just being in that team environment's something you can't replicate in everyday life.
"It's pretty underrated how good our last 10 years were. To be a part of that, to be accepted, coming down from NSW, it's not an easy thing for someone to fit into a pretty hostile environment I guess."
Hastings is now planning to open a cafe next year along with his wife Briannan and her cousins, in Frankston South, where they live.
"That's going to be called 'Mr Frankie'. I'll be in there helping out, trying to sell some coffees, and we're just going through the process of liquor licensing," he said. "There's an opportunity in the market down there to provide something fresh, new and fun."