Siddle treated for smoke inhalation, but Cricket Australia says it has a plan for SCG haze
Peter Siddle has called time on his international cricket career, ending more than 11 years of donning the Baggy Green.
Peter Siddle’s career stats
- Tests: 67
- Wickets: 221
- Best bowling: 6-54 against England at the Gabba, November 25, 2010
- Average: 30.66
- Debut: against India at Mohali, October 17, 2008
- Last Test: against England at The Oval, September 12-15, 2019
- ODIs: 20
- T20Is: 2
Siddle, who was in the squad for the Boxing Day Test but not named in the final XI, told teammates on Sunday morning he would be hanging up his boots in the international game.
A tireless pace bowler from rural Victoria, Siddle made his debut against India in Mohali back in 2008, and went on to take 221 Test wickets in 67 Tests for Australia.
“The Ashes was the main goal to get on that tour and be part of that series,” Siddle told Fox Sports.
“I’d been chatting to [Tim Paine] and [Justin Langer] through that series, and I could have [retired] after that. But the chance of maybe getting to play again at home, it would have been nice, but I can be content.
“I’m very happy but a bit sad.
“As a young kid, I wasn’t super talented. I had to work hard for it, being able to walk out with a Baggy Green and represent Australia.
“Just chatting to the boys, the three fast bowlers in this Test, I played in all their debuts, that’s part of the reason. They’re a lot younger than me, and I love watching them play.”
Siddle, 35, was also responsible for a handful of helpful wags of the Australian tail, with two Test half-centuries to his name.
He also played in 20 one-day internationals and two Twenty20s for Australia.
Speaking to Grandstand, Siddle said retaining the Ashes on English soil was his personal career highlight.
“I’d been to three previous Ashes series and had lost them all, so to … retain the Ashes which we hadn’t done in 18 years, with the group of guys that we had, it was a pretty special tour,” he said.
“So to be able to achieve that and play a part throughout that series as well, that’s going to go down as one of the special ones.”
He said he still intended to feature in first class cricket, both at home and in England.
“I love playing for Victoria, I love [playing] the Big Bash for the Strikers and I love playing for Essex over in England so I’ll continue those for at least the next year and then we’ll see after that,” he said.
“I just want to keep playing, I enjoy working with the young guys in the teams that I play with, I love seeing them develop, I love seeing them perform well.”
‘A massive heart’
Test captain Tim Paine said Siddle would be missed from the playing group.
“Sids has been the heart and soul of the team for a long time,” he said.
“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.
“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.”
Birthday hat-trick Siddle’s most memorable moment
Siddle married hard work with aggression in his bowling, and burst onto the scene in his Test debut when he pinged Gautam Gambhir in the helmet on his very first ball, before claiming the illustrious Sachin Tendulkar as his maiden Test wicket.
From there he became a mainstay in Australia’s bowling attack, often extracting unnerving bounce off the deck to worry batsmen.
Following a back injury which kept him out of action for a year, Siddle exploded on his return, taking a memorable hat-trick in the Ashes Test at the Gabba on his 26th birthday — becoming just the ninth Australian to claim a Test hat-trick.
Peter Siddle played a crucial role in Australia retaining the Ashes on English soil in 2019. (Reuters: Carl Recine)
Despite losing some of his pace — which some attributed to his famous vegan diet — he was the binding agent for Australia’s attack in the 5-0 Ashes whitewash of 2013-14, but was eventually dropped from the side as selectors opted for all-out pace.
He struggled to get back into the side during the 2015 Ashes tour of England until the final Test, and appeared to be in the cricketing wilderness for a few years after.
But following some resurgent form with the ball in England’s County Championship, he earned himself a recall under new coach Justin Langer following the ball-tampering scandal, and played a key role in the retaining of the Ashes on English soil earlier this year.
Siddle copped criticism for his veganism
The Victorian became a vegan in 2012 after his partner Anna convinced him to adopt the diet, which famously involved him eating as many as 20 bananas a day.
Peter Siddle was visibly shattered in Adelaide when South Africa’s Faf du Plessis held out for a draw in 2012. (AAP: James Elsby)
But his decision brought plenty of criticism, including from former Australia paceman Dennis Lillee, who questioned how he would recover from 50 individual overs of bowling in a Test match.
Siddle had to be rested for the third and final Test against South Africa in 2012 after bowling a combined 63 overs in the second Test, 33 of them in the second innings as Faf du Plessis blocked his way to a match-saving century in Adelaide.
He insisted he was in a better place physically than he was before his new diet, saying he had struggled to bowl 50 overs before his marathon effort at the Adelaide Oval.
“For people to say that’s the problem and that’s the reason why [I withdrew], they’re the ones kidding themselves,” Siddle said in 2012.
“They’re not the ones out there having to do it and having to go through it. To still be bowling 140 kph in my 64th over at the end of the fifth day in a Test match, that probably shows the improvements.”