MELBOURNE // Australia's Shaun Tait has retired from one-day international (ODI) cricket to concentrate on Twenty20 and preserve his career, the fast bowler said in a statement today.
Tait, who took 11 wickets in seven matches during the ongoing World Cup in the subcontinent, said playing the format year-round for the national team and state side South Australia was taking a toll on his body.
"This is not a decision I have taken lightly but I believe it is one that will help me to prolong my cricketing career through the many Twenty20 avenues available," he said in a statement released by Cricket Australia (CA).
"In reality, playing all year round for Australia and South Australia is not allowing my body to stand up as I would like and I do not want to be forced into retirement through career-ending injuries.
"Twenty20 cricket allows me to manage my body to a level where I feel I can continue to contribute to the game for some time yet.
"My goal was to hopefully help Australia retain the ICC Cricket World Cup. However, with our involvement now finished I feel it is the perfect time to move on in a new direction."
The 28-year-old was a member of Australia's triumphant team at the 2007 World Cup but toiled at the current tournament and was carted for one for 52 off seven overs in the team's quarter-final defeat to India last week.
Lightning quick, Tait played 35 ODIs at an average of 23.56, but his withering pace has led to various injuries over the course of a six-year international career.
"Bowling at the speeds he generates places an unusual strain on his body and Cricket Australia respects the decision he makes today," said Michael Brown, CA's general manager.
Tait's departure could be the first of many as Australia's administrators conduct a comprehensive review into the country's national cricket teams, sparked by the Test side's humbling 3-1 loss on home soil to England in the recent Ashes series.
Australia's failed title defence at the World Cup has reinforced calls from former players and pundits for fresh blood to reinvigorate the ageing national teams.
Australia will play three ODI matches in Bangladesh from April 9-13.
Sir Ian Botham, the former England all-rounder, says he will consider walking the length of Sri Lanka to raise funds for children to build a new life in the war-ravaged north of the country.
Botham, who accompanied friend and Sri Lanka cricket great Muttiah Muralitharan on a tour of the region by helicopter, was asked if he would consider emulating walks the length of Britain he has done for charity.
"I'd have to think about that. It's so hot here," Botham said.
When told a walk in Sri Lanka might be as short as 400km compared to the usual 1,400km he walks, Botham replied, "well that's different, I'll consider that."
Botham has been visiting Sri Lanka for about five years to drum up support for those affected by a protracted civil war and the 2004 tsunami.
Akhtar has not played since the 110-run loss to New Zealand — Pakistan’s only defeat of the tournament — but Gul says the inclusion of the experienced fast bowler “will take some of the pressure off me.”
Akhtar’s replacement Wahab Riaz has not made an impact on the tournament and the former Pakistan captains Imran Khan, Javed Miandad and Wasim Akram believe Akhtar could unsettle the Indian batsmen, who are adept at handling spin.
Daniel Vettori, the New Zealand captain, was shocked to learned that a used wicket is being prepared for their World Cup semi-final against Sri Lanka.
Vettori says he thought it would be mandatory to prepare a fresh wicket, “but obviously not.”
Sri Lanka, the World Cup co-hosts, have the advantage of knowing about the conditions after they thrashed England by 10 wickets in the quarter-final over the weekend at the R Premadasa Stadium — which will be hosting its 101st one-day international.
Vettori says he had been told about the wicket “which is very surprising for us, playing a World Cup semi-final on a used wicket.”
New Zealand, who upset South Africa to reach the semi-finals for the sixth time, have never qualified for a final.