Cricket: Aussie speedster Shaun 'Wild Thing' Tait farewells life in fast line

Australian bowler Shaun Tait celebrates after capturing the wicket of Black Caps batsman Brendan McCullum. Photo/AP Photos
Australian bowler Shaun Tait celebrates after capturing the wicket of Black Caps batsman Brendan McCullum. Photo/AP Photos

Aussie fast bowler Shaun "Wild Thing" Tait will today retire from cricket with a body that could give no more, but at peace with his place in the game.

The slinger broke cricket's magical speed barrier with a 161.1km/h bullet against England at Lord's in 2010 and put fear into batsmen's hearts the world over, including a 2012-14 stint with the Wellington Firebirds.

Tait, 34, quietly signed off from cricket with four wickets at 38 in four games for Hobart Hurricanes this season.

The Big Rig's prime came in a 2005 Ashes debut at Trent Bridge, after a South Australian record 65 Sheffield Shield wickets at 20 average in 2004-05.

An excellent 2007 World Cup followed, where Tait collected 23 wickets at 20 sharing the new ball with Glenn McGrath in a Caribbean title triumph.

After taking 2-22 in a one-dayer against New Zealand that same year, Black Caps coach John Bracewell and captain Daniel Vettori both questioned the legality of his unorthodox slinging style.

Tait responded by describing their comments "a disgrace" and offered to have his technique tested.

Tait was forced out of test and first-class cricket in 2008, worn down by injury, before becoming a successful Twenty20 specialist.

His most memorable outing against New Zealand came in a 2010 T20 encounter in Christchurch, when Brendon McCullum blitzed 115 runs off 56 balls, including a couple of audacious overhead sixes off Tait.

"I honestly wanted to play a couple more years, whether it was over in the UK or here," Tait told the Cricket Australia website. "The elbow has pretty much gone off a cliff now. It's done and dusted.

"I'm 34 -years-old and I suppose when you're not contributing on the field as much as you'd like to, it's time to finish up.

"Pretty much getting left out of the side or not being able to play because of my elbow, either way there's no point going on with it.

"I knew it was going to be difficult, getting older, to compete with the young blokes."

- news.com.au

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