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Veteran paceman Siddle retires from international cricket

New Zealand fans cheer off their team as players leave the field after play at their cricket test match against Australia in Melbourne, Australia, Sat...

New Zealand fans cheer off their team as players leave the field after play at their cricket test match against Australia in Melbourne, Australia, Sat...

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Veteran pace bowler Peter Siddle is retiring from international after being left out of Australia's squad for the third cricket test against New Zealand.

The 35-year-old Siddle, who played the last of his 67 tests during the 2019 tour to England when Australia retained the Ashes, was called into the squad for the ongoing second test in Melbourne as injury cover but was not selected in the starting XI.

He announced his international retirement on Sunday, with Australia in a comfortable position on day four of the Boxing Day test.A consistent and reliable seamer who took 221 test wickets at an average of 30.66, Siddle will continue to play domestic cricket with Victoria in Australia and Essex in England.

"It's always hard to know when the right time is," Siddle told Fox Cricket. “The Ashes was the main goal, to try and ... be a part of that series.”

Siddle said once he'd “ticked that off,” he spoke to Australia captain Tim Paine and coach Justin Langer about his selection prospects.

“The chance of getting maybe one last crack came up in Australia. To do it at home would have been nice, but I can be content with 67 tests,” he said. "Just to play one (test) is amazing. To play what I did, it’s truly special.”

A product of rural Victoria where he competed in junior wood-chopping events, Siddle converted to a vegan diet in 2012 and has become known for his fondness for eating over a dozen bananas during a day’s play.

His career highlights include taking a test hat-trick against England in Brisbane on his 26th birthday on November 10, 2010. Siddle also played a prominent role with a haul of 16 wickets in Australia’s 5-0 Ashes sweep on home soil in 2013-14.

Langer praised Siddle as the "heart and soul" of the team.

"He is the everything of what a team player is. He has given his heart and soul to the Australian team and the game of cricket," Langer said.

Former England skipper Michael Vaughan described Siddle on Sunday as someone who “just keeps running in for you”.

“He’s a captain’s dream,” Vaughan told Fox Cricket.

Siddle’s career tally of test wickets is the 13th-highest for an Australian. While it was hard to pick a career highlight, he said the Ashes hat-trick was “pretty good.”

Australia picked uncapped legspinner Mitchell Swepson at Siddle's expense for the third test against New Zealand, which starts Jan. 3 in Sydney.

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Updated : 2020-12-01 20:16 GMT+08:00