Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Australia spinner Xavier Doherty has announced his retirement from cricket effective immediately.
Doherty made the decision after being omitted from Tasmania’s squad for the final round of the Sheffield Shield.
Despite retiring, Doherty made it clear that he will be open to playing in the Big Bash League (BBL) at the end of the year.
“I’m still open to it if something comes along,” he said. “But I’ll be quite content if it doesn’t.”
Opening up on why he decided to walk away from the sport, the 34-year-old said: “I think over the next few months I’ll be able to sit back and look at what I’ve achieved, the good times and not so good times as well.
“I’ve spent the last few weeks just thinking about whether this is the right thing to do, but I’m pretty comfortable with where it sits at the moment. I guess the way Tassie cricket and personally the way the last 18 months or two years have worked out, it’s not the ideal way I saw things happening. But I think, when you look a bit more broadly, it’s been 15 or 16 years in the system and I feel pretty lucky to have been part of some pretty successful Tasmanian sides and lived out all my boyhood dreams of playing for Australia and playing around the world.
“I’m certainly pretty proud of how it’s all panned out. I think over the next little while I’ll ponder it a bit more, all those times. I certainly leave feeling pretty chuffed about the things I’ve been able to tick off.”
Doherty also admitted that the game has changed substantially since he made his international debut in November 2010.
“The way the game’s played is completely different from when I started,” he said. “You think about the impact T20’s had and how big the game’s become. The way the game’s played, the fear factor with batters has certainly gone away. As a spin bowler bowling on a reasonably flat home wicket I’ve certainly seen first-hand how much the game’s changed. The game’s in a strong position and I feel lucky to have been part of an exciting era.”
But, what does the future hold for Doherty? According to the left-arm spinner, he plans to work for a landscaper he met through the Australian Cricketers’ Association’s Beyond The Boundary program.
“I think eventually I’ll be back in the game in some way, shape or form,” he said. “I think it’ll be good to have a break and clear my head a bit. But the game’s been pretty good to me and I think I’ve got something I can give back.”
Via a statement, Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said: “Xavier was an outstanding competitor who always represented Australia to the best of his abilities.
“Playing in all three formats of the game at international level, Xavier proved he could compete against the best players in the world. Xavier featured in Australia’s victorious 2015 World Cup campaign on home soil, and should be proud of everything he has achieved in his decorated career.
“We thank him for being such a great ambassador for the game, and look forward to his continual involvement in his post-playing days.”
Doherty represented Australia in four Tests, taking seven wickets at an average of 78.28. He also played in 60 ODIs and picked up 55 wickets at an average of 40.43. As for his Twenty20 International career, the Tasmania native claimed 10 wickets in 11 matches at an average of 30.