Jason Gillespie retires from first-class cricket

Published: Friday, February 29, 2008, 3:35 [IST]
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Dizzy at dizzy heights: Aussie Jason Gillespie, went in to bat as nightwatchman, scored a double ton in Test against Bangla in Apr 2006.Melbourne: Discarded Australian right-arm seamer Jason Gillespie has announced his retirement from all forms of the sport on Friday.

However, the ICL-bound Gillespie said he will honour the commitments with Glamorgan for the ensuing county season.

Dizzy, as is Gillespie referred fondly in cricketing circle, confirmed he is quitting from first-class cricket at the end of South Australia's ongoing Pura Cup match against Queensland at Adelaide Oval.

The former Test opening bowler, 33, leaves next week to join the unsanctioned Indian Cricket League. He has signed a lucrative three-year ICL contract along with fellow country men Damien Martyn and Matt Elliott.

Dizzy's ICL deal might affect his commitment to play with Glamorgan in the English county championship this year.

"This will be the last first-class match I play in Australia," Gillespie told a packed media conference - as well as family, friends and past and present team-mates - at the Adelaide Oval during the lunch break on day one of the SA-Queensland Pura Cup match.

"Cricket has been very good to me. I've travelled the world, I've met some fantastic people and I've spent my time doing the thing I love the most, which is playing cricket.

"But it has always been important to me to end my career on my own terms while I'm still contributing. I do not want to get tapped on the shoulder and shown the door."

"And the time has come - I have a young family to consider. My daughter (Sapphire) has reached her teens. I've travelled for all of her life. I think it is time I was around for her and her (young) brothers (Jackson and Brandon) and my wife (Anna)."

Gillespie said he was grateful to Cricket Australia for 'sticking by' him early in his career when he was plagued by injuries, and also to the Australian and SA selectors who 'had faith' in him.

And he said he 'owed an immense amount' to his Australian team-mates, captains, coaches and team staff at Cricket Australia who had supported him over the years, and it had been a 'privilege' to be a part of the SA team and the SA Cricket Association.

Gillespie said he would play in a coming ICL Twenty20 tournament and then go to England 'to fulfil my commitments with Glamorgan County Cricket Club'.

"I'm very excited - it certainly is a change," he said. "But it's something I'm very much looking forward to. It's just an opportunity to do something a little bit different and it's exciting."

In a career of 175 first-class matches since 1994-95, he has taken 588 wickets at an average of 26.43, but, for all his fine bowling deeds, he may well be remembered, most for his stunning 201 not out as a nightwatchman in Bangladesh in 2006 - in his final Test innings.

Gillespie is sixth on the list of Australia's Test wicket-takers, equal 10th on the list of first-class wicket-takers for SA and eighth on SA's list of Sheffield Shield/Pura Cup wicket-takers.

He took 259 wickets at 26.14 in 71 Tests for Australia and before this match against Queensland he had taken 201 wickets at 24.99 in 53 Sheffield Shield/Pura Cup matches for South Australia.


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