17th Oct, 2017

Pears' overseas berth 'vacant' as Hastings hangs up bat in long formats

Aaron Wise 11th Oct, 2017

WORCESTERSHIRE will consider ‘all options’ when recruiting their 2018 overseas players after all-rounder John Hastings announced his retirement from first class and one-day cricket.

The Australian international had been due to return to New Road for a second campaign next summer as the Pears’ main overseas player.

However, he will now ply his trade solely in T20 cricket after a succession of injuries – the latest a back problem – forced the 31-year-old to call time on the longer formats of the game.

The all-rounder suffered a foot injury during Worcestershire’s Specsavers County Championship clash with Sussex at New Road in August, which resulted in him being recalled by Cricket Australia to undergo rehab work down under.

Hastings is still keen to return to the county for next year’s NatWest T20 Blast, but fully understands director of cricket Steve Rhodes will have to consider all possibilities when weighing up who will fill the club’s overseas berths.

“We’re very disappointed for John. He’s a top bloke and made a big impression on our dressing room. I know players like Josh Tongue have praised the part he has played in their development,” said Rhodes.

“He was signed up with us for two years. I’ve spoken to him (since the announcement) and he was desperate to come back next summer, but he’ll now be concentrating purely on playing 20-over cricket.

“He understands we have to consider all our options in terms of our overseas players for 2018,” he added.

Hastings said: “Trying to get back (to playing) after four shoulder reconstructions, four major ankle operations and a major knee operation has just worn me down.

“The body is just giving up and every time I try to get back to four-day cricket or one-day cricket, it seems as if something else goes.

“It was a tough decision (to retire) and one that wasn’t made lightly. I decided to give the two longer formats away to focus on T20 as I’ve still got a bit left in the tank.”

Hastings played 29 ODIs and nine T20 internationals for Australia and was the world’s leading ODI fast bowler in 2016 after snaring 29 wickets in 15 matches – the equal second most dismissals alongside South Africa’s Imran Tahir.

The big-hitting Aussie will skipper the Melbourne Stars in this winter’s KFC Big Bash League.

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