Chadd Sayers announces retirement from first-class cricket

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The South Australia pace bowler earned one Test cap and was unlucky not to play more

Chadd Sayers, the South Australia seamer who earned one Test cap for Australia, has announced his retirement from first-class cricket at the end of the season.

Sayers, 33, will play his final game when the Redbacks take on Victoria in Melbourne over Easter weekend. With one match remaining in his career, Sayers has 319 first-class wickets of which 278 have come in the Sheffield Shield with South Australia.

He will finish as the state’s third-highest Sheffield Shield wicket-taker – and leading pace bowler – behind Clarrie Grimmett (504) and Ashley Mallett (344).

“I believe the timing is now right for me to step away from first-class cricket at the conclusion of this season.” Sayers said. “I have enjoyed every moment, the highs and lows, and all the memories in between, but I feel that it is time – I now have a young family and there were no guarantees of a contract next year.

“It has been an absolute honour to play for my home State of South Australia all this time, and I’m looking forward to taking the field with the lads one last time this weekend.”

His best season came in 2016-17 where he claimed 62 wickets at 19.00 which helped South Australia to the Shield final where he claimed 7 for 84 in the first innings. The 61.2 overs he bowled in that match was the most of his first-class career.

His career-best match and innings figures came last season against New South Wales when he took 13 for 131. As with all the South Australia bowlers success has been harder to come by this season but he is still the team’s highest wicket-taker with 12 which included the notable return of 29-17-27-3 against Tasmania out of a total of 493.

His consistency in domestic cricket kept him around the fringes of international selection. He was included in the Test squad to tour New Zealand in 2016, came close to a debut in the 2016-17 Adelaide Test against South Africa and was also part of the squad at the start of the 2017-18 Ashes.

Eventually his Test debut came at the Wanderers, a match overshadowed by the fallout of the ball-tampering scandal that emerged the game before in Cape Town, where he would take both his Test wickets in the space of three deliveries – the first being the notable scalp of AB de Villiers.

However, as Australian cricket set about rebuilding and with a strong hand of pace resources Sayers drifted back down the pecking order. Given his ability to move the ball he can consider himself unlucky not to have had more chances, especially an opportunity to showcase his skills in England.

“Everyone at SACA congratulates and thanks Chadd for his impressive and unwavering service to the State for the last decade and wishes him well for the next stage of his life, including enjoying time with his young family,” head coach Jason Gillespie said.

“Chadd will always be welcome through the gates of Adelaide Oval, and he will remain a benchmark for our bowlers and young players for years to come.”

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo

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