The retirement of South African left-arm spinner Robin Peterson was officially confirmed and it brings to end a long and promising career that never really took off. What helped Robbie, as he is known, was that the Proteas were horrifyingly short of spin bowling talents. So someone like him, who could bat and field well too was pure gold.
A steady bowler, who plied his trade in Eastern Province and played in the under-19 World Cup in 1998, Robbie became part of the national team soon. They were in search for someone akin to Nicky Boje, and in Peterson they found every quality matching Boje's, plus his fielding was a huge bonus.
Though Peterson could not hold onto his spot in Test cricket, he became a familiar name in the shorter forms of the game for South Africa. Since 2004, he had a franchise contract with the Warriors and served them for five years before moving to Cape Cobras in 2009. Just this year he switched to Knights and played in all five of the SunFoil series matches this season, before announcing his sudden retirement from all forms of cricket on Wednesday.
He played for the Proteas in 15 Test matches, 79 One Day Internationals and 21 T20 International matches taking 38, 75 and 24 wickets respectively. He also played some crucial innings down the order with the bat.
The 37-year-old lost focus of his national dreams and relinquished them to take up a Kolpak contract, making himself unavailable for national selection. However, a controversial call-up to the World Cup 2011 squad, made him change his mind and he went on to serve the Proteas till 2014, before going out if favour.
His long career was not without its shares of ups and downs. His largely restricted skills plus the fiery fast bowlers in South Africa meant he was often the target for opposition batsmen. Let us take a glance through some interesting facts about the retiring left arm spinner.
#5 IPL heroics
Robbie was signed up to play for Mumbai Indians in the 2012 Indian Premier League after being picked up in the auctions for $100,000. The season turned out to be his one and only stint in the IPL.
However, it did not end without a brilliant exhibition of his skills with the willow. In a match against the Kings XI Punjab, Mumbai required 32 runs in two overs. Peterson, accompanied by the established batsman, Ambati Rayudu decided to take on one of IPL's most successful spinners, Piyush Chawla.
27 runs were plundered in the over as Peterson smashed 15 in his first four balls. Rayudu followed that up with two magnificent sixes as Mumbai Indians cruised to an unlikely victory.