Broken thumb failed to finish Siddle's final Ashes campaign
Retired Test quick makes surprising revelation as he prepares to again play through injury, this time for the Strikers against the Heat
Andrew Ramsey in Adelaide
16 January 2020, 02:32 PM AEST
Peter Siddle has revealed he played throughout much of Australia's Ashes campaign in the UK last year with a broken left thumb.
Siddle, who announced his retirement from international cricket during last month's Boxing Day Test against New Zealand at the MCG, is understood to have hurt his hand early in the first spell he delivered for the series during the opening Test at Edgbaston.
The then 34-year-old had been recalled to the Test line-up for the first time in almost a year, and instinctively threw out his left hand to stop a scorching off-drive from England captain Joe Root.
Later in the day, Siddle returned to claim Root's wicket via a smart return catch that he claimed in his undamaged right hand.
Sharp catch from Peter Siddle! 🙌 #Ashes pic.twitter.com/iJnIVVTuAQ— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) August 2, 2019
He would go on to play the next Test at Lord's, and the series finale at The Oval where it was subsequently revealed he sustained a torn hip flexor on the opening morning while his captain, Tim Paine, also finished that match with a fractured thumb.
Siddle confirmed the Ashes hardship today, when he also claimed he expected to be passed fit to tackle Brisbane Heat in tomorrow's KFC Big Bash League clash with Adelaide Strikers despite nursing four stitches in his right hand after he suffered split webbing at the Gabba on Tuesday.
"I broke my thumb on my left hand in the first Ashes Test," Siddle said when asked if he had played through difficulty on his final international tour.
"That's just part of the game, you always have injuries and things that happen throughout.
"I'm only getting older, there's not a lot of cricket left and I want to play as much as I can.
"So as long as I'm still useful for the team out in the middle, I'll stay out there."
The veteran seamer played a limited role in the Strikers practice session at Adelaide Oval today, with heavy tape protecting the wound between his right thumb and forefinger.
But he believes the injury won't restrict his ability to bowl, although he concedes it might require him to be "hidden" in an inner-circle fielding position at backward square leg rather than his customary post in the outfield after the power play has elapsed.
It's a position the Strikers often delegate to fast bowler Billy Stanlake who has been overlooked for their past two BBL matches but – along with fellow quick Wes Agar – would be considered for a recall should Siddle be deemed unfit. All three pacemen were named in the Strikers' 13-man squad for Friday's match.
"It's not too bad, a bit sore but it will be fine," Siddle said today. "I did it a couple of years ago on the opposite hand, so left hand was probably a little bit easier because I didn't have to do anything with it.
"But right hand this time, it's a bit of nuisance, but I could still bowl the other day (after suffering the injury in Brisbane) so I'm pretty confident I'll be fine to bowl this game.
"Fielding the ball's going to be the hardest. I'll try and hide away somewhere and hopefully not have to field too many."
Siddle nurses another compelling reason to take the field in tomorrow afternoon's match.
Siddle, along with fellow vegan-cricketers Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson, recently launched the 'Wickets for Wildlife' fundraiser they hope will raise $50,000 for the WIRES Animal Wildlife Organisation to help assistance and recovery programs for fauna affected by the ongoing Australia bushfires.
The trio have pledged to donate $200 for every wicket they claim, whether in the BBL or during the current Qantas ODI Tour of India where Zampa and Richardson are members of the Australia men's squad.
WICKETS for WILDLIFE. For every wicket taken this @BBL season, Adam Zampa @StarsBBL, Kane Richardson @RenegadesBBL and I @StrikersBBL will be donating $200 to WIRES + Wildlife Victoria. Please get behind us + donate now! https://t.co/hQaFkPPbVF— Peter Siddle (@petersiddle403) January 3, 2020
On his previous appearance at Adelaide Oval, against Melbourne Renegades last Sunday, Siddle claimed career-best T20 figures of 3-14 and, with public contributions to the cause, the project has now raised around $27,000.
At the conclusion of BBL|09, Siddle, Zampa and Richardson will present signed playing shirts to three 'Wickets for Wildlife' donors, while the single-largest individual donor will receive an autographed shirt from Siddle's 2019 Ashes campaign.
"It's going well," Siddle said of the fundraising effort today. "Zamps and Richo over in India got a couple more wickets (in last Tuesday's tour opener), which was good so they put their money in.
"We set a big goal, but it's ticking along nicely.
"Even my (UK) county club Essex have put up some shirts and memorabilia from our championship-winning side last year that will be signed by the boys and auctioned.
🚨 WICKETS FOR WILDLIFE CHARITY AUCTION 🚨 A host of our players, including Alastair Cook, @rtendo27, and @Westley21 are auctioning their match worn shirts from the 2019 season in support of @petersiddle403 and Adam Zampa's Wickets For Wildlife campaign 👏🇦🇺 More Info ⤵️⤵️⤵️— Essex Cricket (@EssexCricket) January 14, 2020
"That's at about £1,000 already, with a week to go.
"It's just great to have the support around the country for our little fundraiser, but also from everyone in general.
"The support of Australians and international people has been amazing, so a big congrats to everyone that's making an effort and putting in."