Domain Test Series v New Zealand
Siddle announces international retirement
Australia bowler Peter Siddle tells teammates at MCG he is retiring from international cricket, bringing down the curtain on an illustrious international career
Louis Cameron at the MCG
29 December 2019, 05:48 PM AEST
One of Australia's most beloved fast bowlers of the modern era, Peter Siddle, has retired from international cricket after making an emotional announcement in front of the Australian squad at the MCG on Sunday.
Siddle, part of Australia's 13-man squad for the Boxing Day Test but overlooked for the final XI, told teammates he had hung up the boots following a 67-Test career that has spanned more than a decade.
The 35-year-old, who played a key role in helping Australia retain the Ashes earlier this year, exchanged hugs with players and support staff before play on the morning of day four.
Having considered retiring after this year's Ashes, Siddle told coach Justin Langer of his decision a day before his match-winning final over for the Adelaide Strikers in the KFC BBL on Friday.
"It's always hard to know when the right time is," he told Fox Cricket. "The Ashes was the main goal, to try and get on that touring party and be a part of that series."
"Once I'd ticked that off, I was talking to 'Painey' (captain Tim Paine) and JL – I thought I could have done it there, but the chance of getting one last crack if it came in Australia, to (have one more Test) at home would have been nice.
"To think as a young kid I wouldn't get a chance to play, I'm obviously very happy and a bit sad."
Siddle will continue to play domestically for Victoria, the Adelaide Strikers and English county side Essex, having only two days ago bowled his KFC BBL side to victory with a clutch final over against the Melbourne Stars on the Gold Coast.
"I'm still going to play cricket for Victoria, still going to go over and play county cricket for Essex, I love playing cricket," he said.
"So I'm going to keep playing for as long as I can.
"I'm enjoying myself, I love the Big Bash, and to have games like the other night (against Melbourne Stars) is pretty weird – I'd told JL the day before that I was done, and the relief of being able to go out with no pressure on my shoulders probably helped."
From Morwell in country Victoria, Siddle finishes 13th on Australia's all-time leading Test wicket taking charts with 221 victims at 30.66.
Siddle made his Test debut in Mohali in 2008 against a star-studded India side featuring Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly having been earmarked as a bowler of immense promise coming through Victorian under-age ranks.
After claiming Tendulkar as his maiden Test wicket, arguably the most memorable moment of his career came on the first day of the 2010-11 Ashes at the Gabba when, on his 26th birthday, he took a hat-trick.
Following back-to-back away series defeats in 2013 on the horror 'Homework-gate' tour of India and then the ensuing Ashes series abroad, Siddle formed a key cog in the bowling attack that went unchanged through a triumphant 2013-14 Ashes victory at home.
A switch to a vegan diet in 2012, unprecedented for an Australian fast bowler at the time, which saw him consume as many as 20 bananas a day, helped to prolong his career.
Many thought his international days were over after he was injured during the 2016 WACA Test against South Africa but the appointment of Langer as coach following the ball-tampering scandal saw him return for Tests in Pakistan.
He then played his final three Tests during this year's Ashes, helping Australia retain the urn for the first time since 2001.
Siddle also played 22 ODIs and two T20s for Australia and has thrived as a death bowler in recent times for the Strikers, helping them to their maiden BBL title in BBL|07.
He said the strength of Australia's current fast-bowling group featuring the Mitchell Starc, James Pattinson and Pat Cummins made him content he was bowing out at the right time.
"I played in all their debuts," Siddle said of the current crop of quicks. "To see them go about it now, that's part of the reason now. You see how good they are, I love watching them play.
"Just to play one (Test) was amazing, so to play as many as I did is truly special.
"I'll probably think about it more over the coming days and weeks and years, but at the moment it's still pretty fresh and I've only just told the boys."
Australia coach Langer described Siddle as a true team man.
"The year after I retired from playing, Matty Hayden and Ricky Ponting were raving about this guy called Peter Siddle," Langer recalled. "If it came from them, you knew it was right and so it proved throughout his brilliant international career.
"He is an unbelievable bloke and an extremely good cricketer. He is the everything of what a team player is. He has given his heart and soul to the Australian team and the game of cricket.
"We'll always be thankful to him for what he's given to the national team, and for the critical role he played in helping us retain the Ashes in England this year. He's going out when he's still playing well which, in a perfect world, is something every athlete wants to do."
Australia Test captain Tim Paine said Siddle "has been the heart and soul of the team for a long time".
"I remember coming up through with him through the academies and even back then he was one of the great team men, something he has continued to this day," Paine said.
"He has a massive heart and is a fantastic bowler. He'll be very much missed around the group. He's been unbelievably good for our younger fast bowlers over the last 18 months and been a great support for me during that time, as well.
"It's sad to see him leave international cricket, but the time is right for him. He's had a wonderful career, he's achieved a lot and I know he's still got plenty to offer in domestic cricket."
Never left a stone unturned in being the best player he could be, super team mate and will continue to be a big part of developing the next line of Aussie bowlers. Congrats and thanks @petersiddle403 👏🏽🇦🇺 https://t.co/wAZ6m5qvZH— Mel 'MJ' Jones (@meljones_33) December 29, 2019
Congrats @petersiddle403 on a brilliant career.... Enjoyed many battles over the years... Massive heart...serious competitor...great team man... Will never forget this day... pic.twitter.com/Cq0IkNwR2R— Marcus North (@Marcus_North) December 28, 2019
67 Tests 20 ODIs 2 T20Is 241 international wickets 315,728 bananas consumed One heck of an international career for @petersiddle403 #AUSvNZ— Samuel Ferris (@samuelfez) December 28, 2019
Domain Test Series v New Zealand
Australia squad: David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Matthew Wade, Travis Head, Tim Paine (c, wk), Pat Cummins, Mitch Starc, Nathan Lyon, James Pattinson, Michael Neser, Mitch Swepson
New Zealand: Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Neil Wagner, Kane Williamson (c)
First Test: Australia won by 296 runs in Perth
Second Test: December 26-30, MCG (Seven, Fox & Kayo)
Third Test: January 3-7, SCG (Seven, Fox & Kayo)