Australia's Mike Hussey calls Test stumps at 37

Australian veteran Mike Hussey announced Saturday he will retire from Test cricket after next week's third and final match against Sri Lanka in Sydney.

Australia veteran Mike Hussey celebrates his century against Sri Lanka on during the first Test match in Hobart, Tasmania, on December 15, 2012. Hussey has announced he will retire from Test cricket after next week's third and final clash against Sri Lanka in Sydney.

The evergreen Hussey, who continues to flourish at 37, just months younger than Ricky Ponting who called it quits earlier this month, said he wanted to spend more time with his four young children, who are all aged under eight.

"The Sydney Test against Sri Lanka will be my last Test match for Australia and I'm going to retire from international cricket at the end of the Australian summer," he told the Nine Network.

"I was quite excited to tell them (children) that I'm not going to go away and play for Australia any more."

Hussey's retirement will leave a huge hole in Australia's lower batting order ahead of next year's back-to-back Ashes away and home series against England preceded by a tour to India in February-March.

Hussey said the final straw was the realisation that a long Test tour of India no longer excited him.

"The clincher for me was when when I started looking ahead to the Indian and Ashes series," Hussey told Australian Associated Press.

"I didn't have the excitement and buzz about facing the challenges of those two tours that I felt like I should have.

"So for me that meant that I was making the right decision. They're two tough tours where you're away from home a long time."

Hussey has scored 19 hundreds in 78 Tests and averages 51.52.

Hussey's recent form has been outstanding and he has been averaging 180.00 after two Tests in the current series against Sri Lanka.

He said any Test match is a stressful experience, but next week's third Sydney Test could be different.

"I feel like I can come into this last Test match with no pressure whatsoever," he said.

"I can just really go out there and enjoy it."

Australia have already clinched the three-match series against Sri Lanka with huge wins in Hobart and Melbourne.

Hussey, who made his Test debut at the late age of 30 in 2005, has become Australia's 12th-leading runscorer with 6183 runs at 51.52.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said Hussey would be a huge loss on and off the field for Australia.

"Michael Hussey has been a vital contributor to many Australian team wins over his very successful Test cricket career," Sutherland said.

"Affectionately known as 'Mr Cricket', he has always been thoroughly committed to meticulous preparation and the highest levels of physical fitness, which have in turn delivered consistent performances in all forms of the game.

"An incredibly reliable player and leader within the Australian cricket team, Michael will retire from Test cricket with a record that puts him amongst the very best Australian batsmen of all time."

Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) president and former Australian fast bowling great Dennis Lillee said Hussey was an ornament to the game.

"He is the ultimate professional, one who left no stone unturned in being the best in all of the areas that he could possibly be," Lillee said.

"He is a great exponent of all forms of the game, but it is his Test cricket skills that excited me as he could play with his back to the wall and be aggressive -- or a combination of both -- at the flick of a switch.

"He will go down as one of the all-time greats for WA and Australia."

About the author

columnist
Writer: AFP
Position: News agency