Australia's veteran paceman Peter Siddle has announced retirement from international cricket after over a decade in the game. Siddle, who was called as injury cover for the second Test in Melbourne, told his teammates on Sunday morning that he would be hanging up his boots in the international game.
The 35-year-old Siddle has played 67 Tests for Australia and took 221 test wickets at an average of 30.66. Siddle also played 20 ODIs and 2 T20Is for Australia in which he took 17 and 3 wickets respectively. The speedster last played for Australia in the fifth Test of the Ashes this year in England.
However, Siddle will continue to play domestic cricket with Victoria in Australia and Essex in England.
"JL, Painey and I, we chatted about it early on in the Ashes series, there was a possibility [of finishing in England]," Siddle said on Sunday. "But there was a bit of back-and-forth about the chances of maybe being able to do it back home if things fall into place. I was pretty content to do it over there, but that small, little hope that maybe I might get a chance back in Australia in front of family and friends, I was happy to take the gamble and see if it happened”, he added,
“Obviously it didn't, but very content with the career I've had. As a young kid, I never thought I'd play one, let alone play 67, so very happy. I've played 180 first-class games, so the longevity to be able to play long-form cricket over that short time, it's all about keeping the body right, maintaining a healthy body and doing everything you can to adjust throughout those years. When you start, you're young and fresh, you can charge in and bowl fast, but as you grow older and as you play more games, the body starts to wear down and you have to change”, he further said.
Australian coach Justin Langer also praised the seamer and described him as the “heart and soul” of the team.
“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,” Langer mentioned.
Siddle, who made his Test debut in India in 2008, was a consistent member of Australia’s Test team but a back injury in 2016 kept him out for a year. Siddle fought his way back into the Australian squad, making his first Test appearance in nearly two years against Pakistan in Dubai in October 2018.
Ashes hat-trick was “pretty good”
Siddle, who has finished as the 13th highest wicket-taker in Tests for Australia, has many memorable career highlights, but he termed his hat-trick on his birthday in the Ashes in 2010 as his favourite.
He dismissed Alastair Cook, Matt Prior and Stuart Broad to reach the milestone, before finishing with six wickets for the innings.
Siddle also played a prominent role with a haul of 16 wickets in Australia’s 5-0 Ashes sweep on home soil in 2013-14.
Australia’s Banana Man
Peter Siddle became a vegan in 2012, which famously involved him eating as many as 20 bananas a day.
But his decision brought some criticism from former Australia paceman Dennis Lillee, who doubted how he would recover from 50 individual overs of bowling in a Test match.
“Our guys have got to eat protein even if they are considered vegetarian – they have got to eat fish and chicken”, legendary Australian paceman Dennis Lillee said.
“I think you have to rebuild muscle after you have had a 50-over test. I know there is more to it than clouds and grass but I have not seen too many (vegetarian fast bowlers) survive.”
But Siddle insisted that he is feeling better than ever before.
“I struggled to bowl over 50 overs (before becoming vegan) so, to bowl 64, I think that's an improvement”, he said at the time.
“So, I'm probably in a better place than I ever was”, he concluded.