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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 08:37 GMT
'Exhausted' Tait takes long break
Shaun Tait
Tait made three Test appearances for Australia
Australia paceman Shaun Tait has announced he is to take an indefinite break from cricket due to emotional and physical exhaustion.

The 24-year-old, who has suffered shoulder and elbow injuries, said he had needed to "rest and recover".

"A break from professional cricket will hopefully give me a clear mind," said Tait in a statement issued by governing body Cricket Australia.

"My love and enjoyment of the game is struggling due to these issues."

He added: "This is a very difficult situation for me. It is not an overnight decision but something I've been struggling with for some time.

"If I continue, it will be unfair on my team-mates and support staff of both the Australian and South Australian cricket teams - and most importantly my family and close friends."

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Tait's surprise decision comes just three days after Australia vice captain Adam Gilchrist announced his retirement.

Australia have had to deal with a number of retirements in the past 14 months with Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Justin Langer and Damien Martyn all quitting during last season's Ashes.

Tait, one of the world's fastest bowlers, was named in 2007 as the International Cricket Council's emerging player of the year.

He made his Test debut at the age of 22 against England in 2005 and caught the eye with his ability to reverse-swing the ball at speeds in excess of 90mph.

The South Australian, dubbed "Wild Thing" because of his pace and erratic control, underwent shoulder surgery following the 2005 Ashes series and missed most of the 2006 season.

He has struggled to secure a place in the Australian Test team, making just three appearances so far.

Tait has had more success with one-day cricket however, taking 33 wickets in 18 appearances, and was a key member of the Aussie team that won the 2007 World Cup.

But upon his return from the Caribbean, he underwent elbow surgery. He has struggled to gain full fitness and was wicketless on his comeback to Test cricket in the third Test against India in Perth.

South Australian Cricket Association medical officer Terry Farquharson believes Tait's injuries have taken their toll.

"The combination of his injury history and the demands of being an elite professional cricketer has affected his physical, and significantly his emotional well being," he said.

"Shaun feels he needs a rest from cricket and I support this, which will allow him to recover both physically and emotionally."

SEE ALSO
Paceman Tait's world-class form
09 Apr 07 |  Australia
Tait ready to ignite Aussie bid
24 Feb 07 |  Australia
Tait a raw talent
24 Aug 05 |  England
Where next for Australia?
28 Jan 08 |  Australia


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