Alex Cusack announces international retirement
Alex Cusack has confirmed his retirement from international cricket with immediate effect.
The 34 year-old had originally planned to retire following the World Cup earlier this year, but delayed his decision until after helping Ireland successfully qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 in India next year.
“I have been thinking about it seriously for a year, especially with the bad run of injuries I have suffered in recent times,” said the Clontarf all-rounder.
“Those injuries have taken a considerable toll on my body, and that’s the main reason why I’m calling it a day now. I’m also the father of three young children, and I feel I need to be around more for them.
Cusack feels the team’s future is secure, with a wealth of talented young players coming through. “Its great to see the young guys coming through and I’m certain the team has a great future ahead. I’d like to thank all my team mates that I have played with over the years - it has been a great honour to play for Ireland with such a great bunch of lads and I wish them all the best in the years ahead.”
Cusack paid tribute to former coach Phil Simmons who gave him his debut against South Africa in 2007, and current coach John Bracewell: “I’ll always be truly grateful to Phil Simmons for giving me a chance and more recently John Bracewell, who has been great to me.
“Physio Kieran O’Reilly and S&C coach Brendan Connor have been inspirational in getting me back on the park and keeping me fit these past few seasons. I’d also like to say many thanks to all my friends and family, who have been superb with their support over the years, and lastly, to my wife Celine for her understanding and support during my Irish career.
Ireland captain William Porterfield paid tribute to Alex, saying: “Alex has been a great servant and performer for Ireland for quite some time. Not only has he been such a consistent performer for us on the pitch, but he continued to set the example off it. He was ever the professional and I am sure that how he approached all aspects of the game has had a positive influence on the younger players within the squad.
“I would like to thank Alex for all that he has done over the years and to also wish him every success in his future career path.”
Ireland Head Coach John Bracewell echoed those sentiments as he acknowledged the wonderful career of Alex Cusack: ” It is a shame that I have had so little time with Alex in the Irish side. In that time however he has been a great role model to our players in how to conduct yourself as an international cricketer; a mentor to our young bowlers and wise counsel to myself and the senior players.
“Players who give whole heartedly to cricket teams are rarer than one would imagine and Irish cricket have been blessed in the services of Alex over the last 8 years both on and off the field. I’d like to wish Alex and his family all the best for his future career.”
Cricket Ireland Performance Director Richard Holdsworth added, “Alex has been an outstanding professional during his time with the Ireland team. Whilst in recent years he has struggled with injuries, he has worked consistently hard in his rehab and fitness in order to be available for key events.
“Whilst it has of course been frustrating for Alex at times he has never moaned but just got on with his programme and been the model professional. Alex has contributed significantly to Ireland’s success over recent years and has shown what hard work and commitment can bring. All at Cricket Ireland wish Alex and his family the very best in his future career”
Since his debut against Middlesex in 2007, Cusack played 174 times for Ireland, scoring 2347 runs at an average of 22.79, while also taking 180 wickets at just 21.86, putting him at 8th on the all-time leading wicket-takers.
There have been many highlights for Cusack during his 8 year career in the green of Ireland. He made 47 during a stand of 161 with Kevin O’Brien in the famous World Cup win over England in Bangalore in 2011, while he also took 4 for 32 as Ireland edged out Zimbabwe by five runs in Hobart during the 2015 World Cup.
He scored his only century - 130 in 2007 against Scotland - sharing a stand of 234 with Andre Botha - the 3rd highest partnership for Ireland in all cricket.
Often seen at his best in T20 cricket, Cusack was named the Player of the Tournament at the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifying tournament in the UAE.