Sheffield Shield 2016-17
Bulls great Hartley announces retirement
Queensland skipper to retire from cricket at the end of the current Sheffield Shield season
15 March 2017, 09:11 AM AEST
Queensland captain Chris Hartley has announced he will retire at the end of the current season.
The 34-year-old's long career with the Bulls will come to a close at the end of the current campaign, possibly after Queensland's match against Victoria this week.
The Bulls need to beat the ladder-leading Bushrangers in Brisbane to have any chance of reaching the Shield Final and extending Hartley's career by another match.
The match at Allan Border Field will be Hartley's 131st at Shield level.
"I think if you make the decision based only on the good times ... we'd all try and play forever," Hartley said today.
"But it's all the extra work that you have to do and the hard grind that goes into making the good stuff exactly what it is.
"I've given my absolute all for 15 or 16 years in the Queensland Bulls squad and I feel like I don't have much to give in terms of that stuff anymore.
"I know that if I wasn't able to commit that stuff, then I'm going out in the right way."
Having debuted for the Bulls in 2003, Hartley has been unlucky to be behind the likes of Adam Gilchrist and Brad Haddin when it came to higher honours and will be remembered as one of the best players of the modern era to not play for his country.
"I think at times my performances meant that I probably could have played for Australia, but the window of opportunity wasn't open at that time," he said.
"But I can't play for Queensland for 15 years and think that I didn't get a good go at it.
"I'm very, very happy with the way my career has panned out and I gave it a crack every step of the way."
Hartley's place as a legend of Queensland cricket was affirmed earlier this summer when he claimed the all-time record for most career dismissals, surpassing ex-Victorian gloveman Darren Berry, and he currently has 562 dismissals to his name in first-class cricket.
The left-hander has also scored 10 first-class centuries and his Shield tally of 5963 runs is the most by a gloveman in the competition's history.
And Hartley's form as a batsman has hardly declined in the latter stages of his career; he's averaged 92 with the bat from seven matches in Shield cricket this summer, including one century and three fifties, having averaged 44 in 10 matches last season.
Hartley has been part of two Sheffield Shield title-winning campaigns with the Bulls (in 2005-06 and 2011-12), four domestic one-day triumphs (06-07, 08-09, 12-13 and 13-14) and two KFC Big Bash League wins, with the Brisbane Heat in 12-13 and the Sydney Thunder in 15-16.
Queensland's match against Victoria will be played at Allan Border Field in Brisbane from Thursday. Entry is free and the match will also be live streamed on cricket.com.au and the CA Live app
CHRIS HARTLEY BY THE NUMBERS
M: 130 | R: 6063 | 100s: 10 | 50s: 32 | Ave: 34.44 | Ct: 545 | St: 17
List A record
M: 96 | R: 2077 | 100s: 1 | 50s: 13 | Ave: 31.46 | Ct: 115 | St: 14
M: 55 | R: 312 | 100s: 0 | 50s: 0 | Ave: 17.33 | Ct: 34 | St: 8