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Stuart MacGill announces retirement
June 02, 2008 09:52 IST
Australia leg-spinner Stuart MacGill will retire from international cricket at the end of the second Test against West Indies [Images], Cricket Australia said in a statement on Sunday.
MacGill, 37, is playing in his 44th Test match and has taken 207 wickets at 28.43. But he has struggled to recover from a wrist operation and had been well short of top form in the current series which Australia lead 1-0.
He gave no specific reason for his decision but suggested that an inability to perform to his best was the main factor.
"There is no way I will ever walk on to a cricket field unless I can guarantee that I can dismiss top-order batsmen consistently," he said in the statement.
"The prospect of letting myself and the team down is simply not an option. I have worked way too hard for too long to sabotage my achievements by playing Test cricket for the wrong reasons."
MacGill spent most of his career in the shadow of fellow leg-spinner Shane Warne [Images], who retired last year, but still took wickets at an impressive rate when the chance came.
Australia were reluctant to use two leg-spinners in the team at the same time but MacGill made the most of his chance when Warne was banned from the game for using illegal substances in 2003-04, taking an impressive 53 wickets in 11 Tests.
He made headlines when he refused to tour Zimbabwe in 2004 citing moral concerns about the situation in the African country.
But, with Warne gone, he was unable to make the most of the short time he had with the stage to himself largely due to fitness problems.
After struggling during the tests against Sri Lanka [Images] in November, he underwent an operation on the wrist of his right, bowling hand in December and on the tour of the Caribbean bowled a much higher percentage of loose deliveries than usual.
Cricket Australia deputy chairman Jack Clarke said MacGill had been one of the country's top performers.
"While it is a sad occasion to see Stuart MacGill depart the game, Australia has been incredibly lucky to have two brilliant leg-spinners on the international scene at the same time," Clarke said.
"Stuart's record at international level is quite outstanding with over 200 Test wickets and he will depart this Australia side as one of the greats of the game."
MacGill's retirement comes less than a month after Warne said he might consider a return to the test side if captain Ricky Ponting [Images] felt he were needed.