Former Australian bowler Shaun Tait, now a T/20 gun for
Shaun Tait's days of making predictions about how fast he
can bowl are long behind him.
The former Australian test player made a name for himself as
a strapping seamer who slung down thunderbolts at express
pace - terrorising batsmen around the world in the process -
and was once clocked at 161.1kmh in a one-dayer against
England in 2010.
But after standing down from the longer forms of the game due
to injuries in 2011, the 29-year-old now operates exclusively
as a Twenty20 gun for hire, which has landed him in
Wellington for a two-game stint with the Firebirds in the HRV
The South Australian will debut for Wellington tonight when
they host Canterbury at Westpac Stadium and he ducked away
from making any spectacular forecasts about how quick he can
"I'm not going to predict anything. I've done it before and
you look like a loudmouth and then you come out and bowl
powderpuffs and it doesn't look good. So, 130," he smiled.
Fans will be hoping for something a tad quicker.
The life of a fast bowler can be unforgiving, especially when
requested to produce lengthy spells under a blistering-hot
sun, but the rise of Twenty20 cricket has given seamers an
opportunity to extend their careers with a maximum of four
overs in each game.
Tait's body still takes plenty of punishment during a match,
which is obvious when you see his action, and his right elbow
has been a constant source of frustration in recent years.
"There's always pain," he said. "But I've got the physio to
help me out. You sort of get used to it, I suppose.
"That's the whole idea of Twenty20, to try to play for as
long as I can. I had my third surgery on my elbow in July so
I don't want to have too many more surgeries. Hopefully I can
keep playing T20s and keep bowling throughout the year. It'd
be nice to play three or four more years.
"It's just one of those things where bone keeps growing in
there and there are all sorts of different complicated
reasons. I can't remember half the reasons. I try not to
think about it, to be honest."
During Tait's time in the Australian squad he picked up
various ailments, including back, shoulder and hamstring
complaints, and he also took a break from the game in 2008
due to mental and physical exhaustion.
In between his stints on the sideline he managed to take 23
wickets at the 2007 World Cup as Australia claimed their
third-consecutive title and he also played in the 2011 event.
Tait also turned out in the 2007 and 2010 Twenty20 World
He finished his international career with 62 wickets from 35
one-day internationals at an average of 23.56 and also snared
28 Twenty20 scalps from 19 appearances at 17.78 and managed
only five wickets at the unflattering average of 60.40 in his
Tait said it was disappointing he couldn't have played more
often for Australia but conceded it was out of his control as
injuries took their toll.
"I can't do too much about it. I probably can't get through
too many one-day games or definitely not a test match or a
[domestic] Shield game. So it's one of those things I have to
deal with. But I was happy with what I did. I played in a
couple of World Cups and had a decent record for Australia,
so that was OK. You can't ask for much more."
Tait should feel right at home with Wellington as he and
fellow short-term Australian import Cameron Borgas feature
until England's Chris Woakes and Bangladeshi opening batsman
Tamim Iqbal arrive for the remainder of the competition.
Aside from Borgas and Tait, wicketkeeper Luke Ronchi and Dane
Hutchison previously lived in Australia, although they hold
New Zealand passports, while Firebirds coach Jamie Siddons is
also an Aussie.
Tait will return to Australia to play for the Adelaide
Strikers in the Big Bash after his brief stint with
Wellington, while another sojourn to India looms in next
year's IPL where he is on the books of the Rajasthan Royals.