Former South Africa international and Hobart Hurricanes spinner Johan Botha has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket effective immediately.
Botha, 36, made the surprise announcement following Hobart's loss to the Sydney Sixers in the BBL at the SCG on Wednesday night.
Botha cited wear and tear on his body and sheer physical fatigue behind his sudden retirement. "It was tough (to make the decision)," he said on Thursday. You never want it to end really, but it's got to come to an end somewhere. The thinking was, the gaps between seasons had got really long for me.
"Coming into this season I had only played one game for Adelaide Uni (in South Australia Premier Cricket), picked up an injury, just made it to the first game here (in the BBL) and the first three or four games was a struggle to get into."
It is a surprise given Botha is known as a fitness fanatic and has been partaking in ultra-distance running in recent years around his cricket commitments.
The decision comes as the Hurricanes sit on top of the BBL ladder as arguably the team to beat for the title despite last night's loss.
Botha has been the Hurricanes most economical bowler this season taking eight wickets at an economy rate of 7.44 bowling both in and outside the Powerplay. He has been very influential in the field taking six catches and producing a stunning direct hit run out against the Melbourne Renegades. But he felt he didn't want to hang around for the wrong reasons and felt it was the right time to give another player an opportunity.
"I just feel that the position the team is in at the moment, the cricket we're playing, the group itself, I just think it's a good time to open that number 8 spot up," Botha said.
"Especially with four games to go to the playoffs. Not just wait until then and hang on and hang on and wait until that game and then you think, 'oh this is too much now'. I think it's better just to move aside and let the next player come in."
Botha finished his international career with South Africa in 2012 after five Tests, 78 ODIs and 40 T20Is across eight years. He captained South Africa in 21 matches across ODI and T20I cricket for 16 victories between 2008 and 2012.
He moved to Australia to play for South Australia, captained the Redbacks in Australian domestic cricket and became an Australian citizen in 2016. He also played for the Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Sixers in the BBL before moving to the Hurricanes this season.