Peter Siddle has announced his retirement from international cricket after a career that spanned 11 years.
Siddle, 35, played 67 Tests taking 221 wickets at 30.66, his last match coming in the final Test of this year's Ashes series in England. He was brought back into the squad for the current Test against New Zealand and told coach Justin Langer on Boxing Day that he was bringing the curtain down on his Australia career before informing his team-mates of his decision before play on the fourth day.
In white-ball cricket he played 20 ODIs, earning a surprise recall earlier this year, and two T20Is.
"It's always hard to know what the right time is, it was sort of the Ashes - that was the main goal - to try and get on that touring party and be a part of that series," Siddle told Fox Cricket. "Once I'd ticked that off, I'd been chatting with JL and Painey throughout that series, I could have done it there, but the chance of maybe getting one last crack if it came up in Australia, do it at home would have been nice. But I can be content, 67 Tests, to think as a young kid that I wouldn't get a chance I'm very happy and a bit sad.
"As a young kid I wasn't super talented so I had to work hard for it. Just to wear baggy green, walk out with it, represent Australia. Chatting to three fast bowlers who are playing this Test, I played in all their debuts so to see all them go about it now, that's part of the reason, they are a lot younger than me and you see how good they are. Every time I stepped out was amazing."
Tim Paine, Australia's Test captain, said: "Sids has been the heart and soul of the team for a long time. I remember coming up through with him through the academies and even back then he was one of the great team men, something he has continued to this day.
"He has a massive heart and is a fantastic bowler. He'll be very much missed around the group. He's been unbelievably good for our younger fast bowlers over the last 18 months and been a great support for me during that time, as well."
Siddle started out as a tearaway, turning heads in the 2008 Sheffield Shield final for Victoria, hitting Gautam Gambhir on the helmet and dismissing Sachin Tendulkar on his debut at Mohali later that year, and taking his famous birthday hat-trick at the Gabba against England in 2010. Around this time he was one of then captain Ricky Ponting's go-to men - they were both vocal supporters of the North Melbourne AFL club, too.
But Siddle needed to add subtlety and consistency to his game. Something he did alongside Craig McDermott around the time he also changed his lifestyle, giving up alcohol and meat, in 2011-12. From then until 2014, he was one of the best and most challenging bowlers to face in world cricket, claiming 110 wickets at 27.77 and a strike rate of 57.80 over a 30-match period. During the 2013-14 dual Ashes series, he was consistently successful against Kevin Pietersen.
After that season, Siddle was dropped on account of losing pace, and one of the most unfair periods of time for him was being ignored by selectors during 2015 Ashes until it was too late. But not to be deterred by that or subsequent injuries, Siddle took up a deal with Essex, proving himself as a highly effective seamer with the Dukes ball, and when Australia were desperate for experience after the Newlands scandal, he found his way back.
And while he did not play every Test, suffered from dropped catches and was injured in the final match at The Oval, Siddle's expertise and experience were critical to Australia retaining Ashes in England for first time since 2001. His spell on the final day of the first Test at Edgbaston, piling on pressure from one end while Nathan Lyon cut through England at the other, was described by Langer as "the best wicketless spell I've ever seen".
After news of Siddle's retirement was confirmed, Langer said: "The year after I retired from playing, Matty Hayden and Ricky Ponting were raving about this guy called Peter Siddle. If it came from them, you knew it was right and so it proved throughout his brilliant international career.
"He is an unbelievable bloke and an extremely good cricketer. He is the everything of what a team player is. He has given his heart and soul to the Australian team and the game of cricket.
"We'll always be thankful to him for what he's given to the national team, and for the critical role he played in helping us retain the Ashes in England this year. He's going out when he's still playing well which, in a perfect world, is something every athlete wants to do."
As for the future, Siddle has already set that up. Often pigeonholed as a red ball specialist, he is now one of the most skilful and effective BBL pacemen, helping the Strikers to the 2018 title and proving an expert closer this season in a tight victory over the Melbourne Stars. He has also indicated he will keep playing for Victoria and Essex.