Cricket news 2022: James Pattinson terminates state contract with Cricket Victoria
Former Australia paceman James Pattinson has “mutually terminated” the final year of his state contract to manage his workload and spend more time with his young family.
Pattinson, who took 81 wickets in his 21 Tests, will take an “extended break from the game” after announcing his retirement from international cricket in October last year.
He also parted ways with the Melbourne Renegades in June with a year remaining on his contract with the Big Bash League franchise.
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Last month, the 32-year-old was released by Nottinghamshire in the English County Championship at his own request, citing fitness and family reasons.
And although Pattinson has not officially hung up the boots, the talented bowler has put himself one step closer towards retirement by cutting ties with Cricket Victoria.
But according to CODE Sports reporter Paul Amy, Pattinson will continue to ply his trade for Dandenong in Victorian Premier Cricket this summer.
“This decision has been a really difficult one for me given my how much I love playing for Victoria and have given it my all for the last 14 years,” Pattinson said in a statement.
“After the birth of our second child and my now well-documented injuries in recent years, it’s the right time to take a break from the game. I owe it to my teammates and myself and at the moment it’s clear I need the rest. It will also allow me to spend more time at home with our daughters.
“Some of my fondest memories playing cricket have been for Victoria, the success we’ve had and friendships I’ve made. The fire still burns deep in me but I’m also honest about where I’m at.”
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday afternoon, Victorian captain Peter Handscomb paid tribute to his “extraordinary” former teammate.
“It’s a shame not to have him this season,” he said.
“He’s just one of those guys you want on your team.
“He was always a matchwinner, a game-changer … he could see things that others couldn’t, and able to create wickets that way.”
Pattinson made his Victorian debut in November 2008, taking 161 wickets at 24.00 in 45 Sheffield Shield matches.
He won three Sheffield Shield titles with Victoria in 2014/15, 2016/17 and 2018/19.
Pattinson claimed a five-wicket haul on Test debut against New Zealand in 2011, later helping Australia retain the Ashes on foreign soil for the first time in 19 years in 2019.
“As his teammates and opposition batters will attest, James has been one of the fiercest competitors in Australian cricket,” Graham Manou, Cricket Victoria’s general manager of cricket performance, said in a statement.
“He has an ability to inspire his teammates combined with his exceptional skill level is something we’ll miss.
“We wish James well as he takes this time to prioritise his family and his health. James knows he will always be welcome around the CitiPower Centre and that we will continue to support him as he transitions to life beyond cricket.”
Pattinson has been plagued by frustrating injury setbacks throughout his stellar 14-year career, repeatedly struck down with lower back stress fractures and undergoing a spinal fusion in 2017.
“He’s been through so much in his career, he has to play in pain a lot of the time and that wears you down,” Victorian coach and former Australian teammate Chris Rogers said last year.
“We’ve known for a little while. We’ve observed him closely over this pre-season. When you’ve got a big caged lion in the depths of winter in the indoor centre trying to get motivated you can sense that something was a little bit amiss.
“When you’ve got that kind of personality, doing a pre-season is not what they want. Having played no games for a long time, that’s the thing that gets him out of bed.”
Meanwhile, Victoria has announced a 13-player squad for its Marsh Cup season opener against the New South Wales Blues in Melbourne.
The squad is headlined by a plethora of international talent, including Handscomb, Scott Boland, Marcus Harris and Will Pucovski, who scored an unbeaten 193 against the New South Wales second XI last week.
“It’s an exciting time as we approach our first matches of the season and we’re pleased to be able to name a strong squad for these opening two matches,” Cricket Victoria’s newly-appointed head of male cricket David Hussey said.
“We saw some fantastic development from some of our younger players during the Marsh Cup last summer and we’ll now be looking for them to build on those experiences this season.
“We’ve seen some outstanding performances through our pre-season and our second XI match, which indicates to us that we’re ready to go.”
The Marsh Cup contest between Victoria and New South Wales gets underway at Junction Oval on Friday morning at 10.05pm AEST.