James Pattinson, the Australian fast bowler, has announced his retirement from international cricket ahead of the Ashes that begins in December. The 31-year-old Victorian pacer made the decision to step away from international cricket to focus on family, playing for his state and helping develop the next generation of fast bowlers.
In an injury-ravaged career, Pattinson played 21 Tests, 15 ODIs and 4 T20Is since making his debut in 2011, picking 81, 16 and 3 wickets respectively. Currently recovering from a back injury, Pattinson was earlier hopeful of being available for the upcoming Ashes.
The pacer had made a strong start to his international career with a fifer on Test debut, which was followed by a Player of the Series performance in the team’s victory against New Zealand in 2011. He played his last ODI in September 2015 before a back injury sidelined him from cricket. He, however, marked his return to Test cricket in 2019 and played the Ashes series that year.
“Leading into pre-season I really wanted to give the Ashes a crack but in the end I haven’t had the preparation I would have liked heading into the coming season,” Pattinson said on Wednesday (October 20). “If I was to be part of the Ashes I would need to do myself and my team-mates justice. I didn’t want to be in a position of battling with my body when you need to be 100 per cent fit and ready to go at any time. That would not be fair to myself or the team.
“It was then I felt that instead of trying to play at the very highest level, knowing I have only got three or four years of cricket left, I would focus more on Victoria, helping the young guys develop, perhaps some cricket in England and spending more time with my family.”
Praising Pattinson’s contribution to Australia, George Bailey – the chair of the Australian men’s national selection committee – said, “Everyone who has played with Patto has thrived on his competitive nature and the sheer pride he takes in playing for his country,” Bailey said.
“James epitomises what it means to play for Australia, the sacrifices you make and the hurdles you have to overcome on the journey. But his record speaks for itself, he has been a wonderful player. We would have loved to have seen a lot more of him over the years.”
Pattinson thanked the Australian cricket board for supporting him through his injuries and said, “I have had a great time over the years and thank Cricket Australia for the opportunities, the faith they have put in me and of course all of my team-mates through the journey.
“They have instilled a lot of trust in me especially at times when I have been injured and helped me through those times. For that, I am very grateful.”