Australian fast bowler Shaun Tait announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Tuesday. Known to be one of the fastest bowlers to grace the sport, the 34-year-old pacer donned the Baggy Greens for Australia thrice, featured in 35 One-Day Internationals and played 21 Twenty20 Internationals for Australia.
Tait, who was nicknamed as "The Wild Thing" made a mark for himself generating raw pace with his slingy action, stated that he took the decision to hang up his boots due to persistent elbow injuries.
“Pretty much getting left out of the side or not being able to play because of my elbow, either way there’s no point going on with it. I knew during the Big Bash that I was going to finish up. The elbow has pretty much gone off a cliff now, it’s done and dusted. I’m 34-years old and I suppose when you’re not contributing on the field as much as you’d like to, it’s time to finish up. It would have been nice to play another year maybe, but there’s no point getting more surgery and play when I’m 35 when I’m probably not up to it anymore. If I was still performing really well, I’d probably do it (have surgery and keep playing). But I just wasn’t. The game’s getting quicker and better and I’m getting slower and a bit older. It’s that simple,” he added.
The pacer made his first-class debut in 2002-03 for South Australia against Western Australia. The following season, he grabbed 30 wickets in the Sheffield Shield.
Consistent performances in the Sheffield Shield competition helped him to find a place in the Test squad for the three-match series in Sri Lanka in 2004. However, Australia preferred to play two spinners and for the final Test, Brad Williams, the Victorian pacer, got the nod.
He made his Test debut against England at Trent Bridge in the Ashes series in 2005. However, he struggled to make an impact in the longer format and on 29 January 2008, Tait announced that he would take an "indefinite break from cricket, citing being physically and emotionally exhausted".
Tait retired from first-class cricket in 2009. The fast bowler, who once was clocked at 161.1km/h in an ODI against England at Lord's in July 2010, achieved significant success in the shorter forms of the game.