Townsville Bulletin

Patto at end of the road

Paceman’s Test career over


JAMES Pattinson has retired from Test cricket leaving Australia short of one its key bowling options ahead of the Ashes.

The 31-year-old has been in the mix with Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood for a number of seasons, usually coming into the side when one is rested or injured, but was picked ahead of Starc for the first Test in the 2019 Ashes.

He is struggling with a knee injury on the eve of the Test summer and lost motivation to get himself up for another campaign, although people close to the bowler are hopeful that a change of fortune at Shield level may lead to a change of heart.

With Pattinson telling selectors he is unavailabl­e Michael Neser, Shaun Abbott and Mark Steketee shape up as other likely inclusions in the Ashes squad.

One of the country’s best quicks for the past decade, stress fractures and the emergence of the NSW trio has limited Pattinson’s time in the Australian team.

He took 20 wickets at an average of 15 in the series against New Zealand and India in his first summer.

Injuries saw him play just 17 Tests in the first five years of his career and he leaves the Australian side with 81 wickets at an average of 26 from 21 games.

Pattinson has over 300 first-class wickets. At his best he was a tearaway quick with an intimidati­ng presence.

Pattinson was expected to play in the second half of the Border Gavaskar trophy in 2020-21 but injured himself while mowing the lawn at home.

A match ban for abuse saw him left out of the first Test which he was expected to play in 2019-20, but he returned to play against New Zealand in the MCG and SCG Tests.

Pattinson recently flagged his intentions to step down from the national team if he wasn’t picked, saying he wanted to relax and enjoy domestic cricket.

He was still considerin­g his Test future as late as last month.

“The hardest part as you get older is that you want to try and enjoy your cricket as well,” he told Cricket Australia’s website. “You put all your attention into playing cricket for Australia and at some stage that finishes.

“This year is a big one for me if I can crack in and try and get an opportunit­y at the

Test level. If not then I probably wouldn’t mind just looking to try and enjoy my cricket somewhere towards the backend of my career.

“I’m going into it pretty relaxed and trying to say ‘you’re having one last crack at trying to play Test cricket and get a good run at it’. I’d just like to play consistent cricket, wherever it may be.”

Pattinson made his ODI debut in Bangladesh in 2011 and signalled his talent with a five-wicket haul on Test

play I’ d just like to consistent cricket, be wherever it may JAMES PATTINSON

debut against New Zealand.

Repeat fractures of the lower back saw him seek radical surgery in New Zealand.

The painful surgery was never guaranteed success and involved painful rehab but allowed Pattinson a chance in the 2019 Ashes.

TEST spinner Nathan Lyon suffered a mild concussion and as a precaution has withdrawn from the rest of NSW’S three-day intrasquad trial matches that began on Tuesday.

Lyon was injured while fielding after taking 1-79.

 ?? ?? James Pattinson has retired from Test cricket after a spate of injuries. Picture: AAP
James Pattinson has retired from Test cricket after a spate of injuries. Picture: AAP

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