Marsh Sheffield Shield 2020-21
Siddle close to rare milestone as he begins new chapter
Closing in on 200 first-class games, the Tasmanian quick wants his new teammates to eventually take his spot
2 August 2020, 11:26 AM AEST
It sounds incongruous, but Peter Siddle says the ultimate success of his Tasmanian sea change would see him forced out of the state's first XI by their exciting group of young fast bowlers.
But the 35-year-old is far from finished taking wickets himself just yet and is looking to play on well into his late 30s as he closes in on a rare fast-bowling milestone.
Siddle's shift to Tasmania after 14 seasons at Victoria was the biggest move of the 2020 off-season, the 67-Test veteran choosing the Apple Isle as he looks to extend his career and begin a shift into coaching.
Speaking to cricket.com.au from a hotel at Hobart Airport, where he's currently completing a two-week period of quarantine before he can join his new teammates at training, Siddle said the chance to mentor a talented group of quicks in Tasmania was one of the main forces that lured him across Bass Strait.
"That was part of the excitement and something that drew me down here," he said of the chance to work with the likes of Riley Meredith and Nathan Ellis.
"The end result for me is these young guys force me out of the side and develop into fine cricketers.
"That's what I want at the end of the day; I want Australian cricket to see the rewards of helping to develop some of these young kids."
Siddle, the fourth-highest wicket-taker in last season’s Marsh Sheffield Shield, is still in peak physical condition and has already floated the prospect of playing beyond his current two-year deal at the Tigers, while he's also contracted to return to English county side Essex next year.
If he stays fit, the right-armer should surge past 200 career first-class matches; since the Victorian's debut in 2005, Stuart Broad (215), Jimmy Anderson (200), Tim Murtagh (197) and Graham Onions (181) are the only fast bowlers to have played more first-class games than Siddle's 179.
And with 617 career wickets already to his name, three more domestic seasons could also bring the 700-wicket milestone within range.
"That's the one thing (Tasmania) have said to me the whole time ... the main reason I'm coming down is to play cricket," he says. "And that's how I see it.
"I still want to perform, I still want to take wickets and do well for my team.
"Off the park, being away from home is going to help me give a bit more to these guys, spend a bit more time with the coaches and develop that as well.
"It's going to be an exciting couple of years and who knows, it might be more in the end."
The addition of a fifth Test player to Tasmania's list has also boosted their chances of winning their first domestic trophy in eight seasons, with skipper Matthew Wade admitting he was stunned that his state was able to pull off the signing coup.
"It was an unbelievable get," Wade told cricket.com.au. "I honestly didn't think he would come down.
"We're starting to get a nice mix and then you chuck Sidds on top of that, we're starting to get a team together that can push to win some stuff over the next three or four years. Sidds will be a huge part of that.
"I know he wants to get into coaching later on in his career. To come down and work with some young bowlers was a big part of his decision. I’m really happy to have him."
The Fast & The Furious
Tasmania's fast bowlers in first-class cricket
M: 179 | Wkts: 617 | Ave: 26.86| BB: 8-54 | 5w: 24
M: 90 | Wkts: 378 | Ave: 24.48| BB: 7-45 | 5w: 17
M: 49 | Wkts: 141 | Ave: 35.14 | BB: 6-68 | 5w: 2
M: 22 | Wkts: 83 | Ave: 24.85| BB: 4-17 | 5w: 0
M: 16 | Wkts: 51 | Ave: 31.78| BB: 5-98 | 5w: 1
M: 14 | Wkts: 46 | Ave: 21.30 | BB: 4-9 | 5w: 0
M: 8 | Wkts: 22 | Ave: 32.04 | BB: 5-28 | 5w: 1
M: 2 | Wkts: 18 | Ave: 16.72 | BB: 6-43 | 5w: 2
M: 5 | Wkts: 11 | Ave: 45.81 | BB: 3-81 | 5w: 0
Tasmania 2020-21 Squad: Tom Andrews, Gabe Bell, Jackson Bird, Alex Doolan, Jake Doran, Nathan Ellis, Caleb Jewell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Lawrence Neil-Smith, Tim Paine, Alex Pyecroft, Sam Rainbird, Tom Rogers, Peter Siddle, Jordan Silk, Matthew Wade, Charlie Wakim, Beau Webster, Mac Wright.