Coaching career beckons as 'loyal' Rainbird calls time

Tasmania's record-breaking left-arm swing bowler announces his retirement after an 11-year career at the top level

Veteran Tasmania swing bowler Sam Rainbird has been tipped for a transition into coaching after calling time on an 11-year first-class career.

Rainbird, who holds the Tigers' record best Sheffield Shield figures in an innings (8-21) and match (13-42), informed teammates of his decision to finish up at season's end this morning after struggling to break into the ladder-leading side.

The 31-year-old left-armer has only played three matches in 2023-24, collecting 2-72 in their drawn Shield encounter against Victoria in November, as well as three wickets in two Marsh One-Day Cup encounters earlier in the season.

However, he could still be in line for a farewell appearance in the final round of the Shield season against South Australia if Tasmania rest some of their frontline quicks having all but locked in hosting rights for the five-day decider.

After debuting as a 20-year-old in November 2012, Rainbird established himself as a mainstay of Tasmania's Shield squad in 2013-14 when he was named their Player of the Year for his 27 wickets.

Rainbird re-writes the record books with phenomenal 8-21

He has represented his state 78 times across both the four-day and 50-over formats and will finish his career as the Tigers' seventh highest wicket-taker in the Sheffield Shield with 170 victims at 32.35.

He also played 24 Big Bash matches across three teams – Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Stars and Sydney Thunder – claiming 17 wickets at an economy rate of 8.90.

His finest performance will no doubt be his record-breaking match haul against Queensland in the final round of the 2021-22 Shield season to spearhead his side's innings-and-231-run win.

Tigers head coach Jeff Vaughan paid tribute to Rainbird as the ultimate team man who will be remembered for his loyalty to Tasmanian cricket.

"He has a great connection across the entire playing group, from our oldest and most senior players to our newest and rookie players," Vaughan said.

"Sam will remain a huge part of Cricket Tasmania, and we look forward to his future involvement in what may become a very successful coaching pathway."

Rainbird adds best match figures to extraordinary game

Rainbird paid special mention to Vaughan and the trust he had shown in him "as a person and athlete" over the past seven seasons.

"To my teammates, thank you for being more than that," Rainbird said in a statement shared by Cricket Tasmania.

"The game has given me friends for life and for that I will be forever grateful, to share a changeroom with players I grew up idolising and current players that I admire has been a privilege.

"To Jordan (Silk) and Beau (Webster), it’s been special to be around you both for the last decade, growing together as people and cricketers, I can’t think of better people to lead the Tigers playing group forward in the future."

Rainbird will continue to play for his childhood club Clarence after hanging up his Tigers cap and will continue to play a role in developing the next generation of Tasmanian cricketers.

Sheffield Shield 2023-24 standings

Matches played
No results
Batting Bonus
Bowling Bonus
Total points
1 Western Australia Men Western Australia Men WA 10 5 2 3 0 0 5.53 9.4 47.93
2 Tasmanian Tigers Men Tasmanian Tigers Men TAS 10 5 2 3 0 0 6.06 8.3 47.36
3 NSW Men NSW Men NSW 10 4 3 3 0 0 6.31 9 42.31
4 Victoria Men Victoria Men VIC 10 4 4 2 0 0 4.74 8.2 38.94
5 South Australia Men South Australia Men SA 10 3 6 1 0 0 5.19 9.3 33.49
6 Queensland Bulls Queensland Bulls QLD 10 2 6 2 0 0 3.54 8.3 25.84

M: Matches played

W: Wins

L: Losses

D: Drawn

N/R: No results

Ded.: Deductions

Bat: Batting Bonus

Bowl: Bowling Bonus

PTS: Total points