Graham Manou, the South Australia wicketkeeper who played one Test on the 2009 Ashes tour, has announced his retirement from first-class cricket. Manou, 31, will end his career after the ongoing match against Tasmania in Adelaide, bringing to a close his 13-year career with the Redbacks.
And while Manou stressed the choice to retire was his, he might not be the last South Australia player to exit this summer, with the new coach Darren Berry seeking to regenerate the playing list. Manou said he reached his decision after speaking to the SACA high performance director Jamie Cox, who was one of the Australian selectors who picked Manou for the Ashes tour two years ago.
"There were times over the past 12 months that I'd questioned myself and my desire to continue to fight and expect what I expect out of myself at this level," Manou said. "I guess I've tried to be as realistic as possible in my own head about where I'm at and where this organisation is at as a team and where I want to head in the future.
"Deep down it was certainly coming and when I had a really good, honest chat with Jamie the other day I think it was probably time. And it certainly was my decision, there were going to be no guarantees, that's for sure, and nor should there be with any player."
A former captain of South Australia, Manou will end his career having played 103 first-class matches and scored 4003 runs at 25.49, with an impressive collection of 348 dismissals. His career highlight was becoming Australia's 411th Test player, when Brad Haddin broke his finger on the morning of the Edgbaston Test in 2009.
Manou also played four ODIs for Australia, in India later that year, but in the national pecking order he had been overtaken by Tim Paine and Matthew Wade. South Australia's backup wicketkeeper for the past couple of years has been Tim Ludeman, but there has been speculation Berry will chase Adam Crosthwaite, who was the gloveman at Victoria during Berry's time as assistant coach there.
Manou is the second South Australia player to retire over the past week. The fast bowler Ben Edmondson, who had moved to Adelaide from Western Australia less than a year ago, announced he was quitting the game before the match against Tasmania.