Melbourne, Australia – Today’s surprise announcement that Mike Hussey is set to retire from international cricket has prompted former Australian fast bowler, Merv Hughes, to question whether the side’s current pace attack is capable of carrying Hussey on the traditional end-of-career lap of honour without any of them breaking down with further injury.
Hughes joins a growing chorus of critics concerned at the apparent physical fragility of Australia’s emerging crop of fast bowlers. But it’s his claim that they may be unable to carry celebrating teammates around the outfield or back to their hotel room after a drunken night at the pub that will be seen as an overt condemnation that they lack one of a core skills required by Australian international bowlers.
“When I was playing you were expected to bowl twenty-five overs in the day and still be able to carry Greg Ritchie on a victory lap round the MCG,“ explained Hughes, “but if any of the current lot tried to give Mike Hussey a piggy back ride on the outer they’d end up in a twisted mass of strained ligaments and expensive hair product. The problem with young bowlers today is they’re interested in the wrong kind of six-pack. They need to understand there’s a difference between gym-fit and able-to-carry-Shane-Watson-when-he’s-had-one-too-many-fit.”
Cricket Australia physical performance manager, Andrew Weller, is yet to comment but Hughes’ concerns are expected to carry almost as much weight as the man himself given he holds the unofficial Australian record for giving an inebriated David Boon a fireman’s lift for three-quarters of a mile from a harvester pub to their team hotel on the 1989 tour of England.
Mike Hussey’s final test appearance will in the new year against Sri Lanka at Sydney. When asked to comment, a spokesman for the Perth based batsman claimed, “Mike’s perfectly capable of getting home from the pub under his own steam, thank you very much.”