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Michael Hussey reveals the truth behind his retirement

Michael Hussey

Michael Hussey

Michael Hussey was hesitant to inform the Australian Cricket Board about his retirement plans at the end of Australian summer,  fearing that he will be consequently dropped after that.

The team was shell shocked when he announced his retirement last year just before the Sydney Test against Sri Lanka. The team management felt that he should have informed them well before the announcement as his sudden retirement could effect the balance of the team. He told the reporters that the reason he did it was to just keep his place in the team until then.

Michael Hussey, also called ‘Mr. Cricket’ said, “Partly why I didn’t want to say anything to anyone was that I cherished every Test match I got to play and I really wanted to finish the Australian summer. If I made it known earlier then perhaps they would start looking ahead earlier and not play me in my last couple of Tests. That was a small selfish part of it that I really wanted to finish when I wanted to finish. I didn’t want them to say ‘you’re going to retire, we’ll blood someone else.

Most of it though was making sure I was 100% sure about the decision. I wanted to make sure in myself, I wanted to see how I felt through the Australian summer, and my feelings certainly didn’t change. When I started looking ahead to what was coming up I knew I was going to find it really tough.

Hussey’s fears were proved to be dead right after he was immediately dropped from the ODI side following his decision to retire from Tests, even though he was available for selection.

The stylish cricketer seemed to be happy about not being a part of this controversy ridden Australian team. He also said that it will take some time for this team to get over it and bare a settled look. However Hussey expressed the need of retention of a settled, stable team, which was the case when he made his Test debut in 2005.

The thing about that (2005) team is it didn’t really change much for probably a 10-year period, so they got to know each other extremely well, like brothers, the environment now will get back to that I’m sure, but it just takes time. There’s been so much change and upheaval in Australian cricket over the last year or so, changing of coaches and selectors, players have come out of the team and new players have come in. So you’ve got to expect it will take time for trust to build up, friendships to build, the hard times, the good times together, it all builds the culture over a period of time,”  he followed.

He also mentioned that his career almost ended, before he saved himself by scoring the most number of runs in the 2010-11 Ashes series. He even fought with the board for forcing him to play for Chennai Super Kings in the Champions League, as he had only 2 days to prepare for the Test match against India in Chandigarh after that.

I was really disappointed, because I was desperate to get there,” he said. “My understanding was that the Test tour starts when the team flies out of Australia, and they weren’t allowing me to leave South Africa where the Champions League was, until literally a couple of days before the Test.

India’s a tough place to play at the best of times, and if you don’t have very good preparation going into it, you’re not going to perform well, and I think looking back it was close to costing me my career. I came back into the Australian summer where again I felt under enormous pressure if I didn’t start the summer well I could’ve been out of the team.

I had one Shield game in Adelaide where I got 0 and 1, and in Melbourne I got a duck in the first innings and thankfully managed to get some runs in the second innings. If that had been the end, and one of the reasons why I was left out, because I wasn’t able to prepare properly, I would’ve been one pretty dirty because I couldn’t give my best to the team, but angry that it would’ve cost me my career,” Hussey concluded.

Expressing his captaincy ambitions, he said that Ricky Ponting was the best captain he ever played under, although he did not want  to take any credit away from Clarke on how he has shaped this young team over the past 2 years.

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