Shaun William Tait (born 22 February 1983) is a former Australian cricketer. Tait played in the Big Bash League for the Hobart Hurricanes and has represented Australia at Twenty20 International level; he has also represented his country in One Day Internationals and Test matches. He is a right arm fast bowler. Tait has won four different awards throughout his career including the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year in 2004. Tait retired from One Day International cricket on 28 March 2011, following Australia's early exit from the 2011 Cricket World Cup. In March 2017, Tait announced his retirement from all forms of cricket.
Tait in 2009
|Full name||Shaun William Tait|
|Born||22 February 1983|
Bedford Park, Adelaide, Australia
|Nickname||Sloon, The Wild Thing, The Nairne Ram|
|Height||1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|Test debut (cap 392)||25 August 2005 v England|
|Last Test||16 January 2008 v India|
|ODI debut (cap 162)||2 February 2007 v England|
|Last ODI||24 March 2011 v India|
|ODI shirt no.||32|
|T20I debut||11 December 2007 v New Zealand|
|Last T20I||31 January 2016 v India|
|Domestic team information|
|2011–2013||Mid West Rhinos|
|2016||Kolkata Knight Riders|
Source: ESPNcricinfo, 10 May 2019
Tait's delivery action is a sling style that is reminiscent of former Australian fast bowler Jeff Thomson's action. Dubbed "The Wild Thing", Tait is considered one of the fastest bowlers in the world and regularly delivers the ball at speeds up to 155 km/h, and occasionally faster. At T20 international on 5 February 2010 against Pakistan Tait bowled a ball measured at 160.7 km/h, the fastest ball ever recorded in Australia. His fastest ball was against England at Lords at 161.1kph (100.1 mph) in 2010, which is equal second fastest of all time behind Brett Lee and Shoaib Akhtar and fastest amongst active bowlers as of 3 January 2015. Despite his speed, Tait has often been described as "erratic" and is capable of bowling many extras, though his unpredictability can be a positive factor in dismissing batsmen and his strike rate confirms this. Tait has also been criticised as being "expensive."
After a Twenty20 match against New Zealand on 11 December 2007, in which Tait troubled the batsmen and took 2/22, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori and coach John Bracewell publicly raised doubts over the legality of Tait's bowling action. Tait labelled the comments as a "disgrace" and added that he'd be willing to undergo tests to prove his action is legal.
Tait has represented South Australia for a majority of his first-class career, however has also played matches for Australia A and Durham. He has taken over 150 first-class wickets at a strike rate of under 50.
At the age of nineteen, Tait made his first-class debut for South Australia against Western Australia on 19 December 2002 at the Adelaide Oval. He only bowled in one innings on his debut, yet finished with respectable figures of 3/77 off 22.2 overs. Tait played 5 games in his first season, taking 20 wickets at an average of 22.55. As a result of his strong first season, Tait was awarded with a place at the Australian Cricket Academy alongside such players as Ben Hilfenhaus and Luke Ronchi.
In the 2003–04 season, Tait hit his highest score of 68 batting left handed. An in form Tait was selected in the Australia A team to take on the touring Indians. Tait took 3/85 in the Indians first innings, including the wicket of Virender Sehwag. Tait once again had a strong Pura Cup season, taking 30 wickets at 28.33.  This helped earn Tait Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year for 2004. He was further rewarded as he was named in Australia's squad to tour Sri Lanka after Brett Lee was ruled out through injury. While he did not play a match on the tour, his inclusion signalled that the Australian selectors saw him as a prospect for the future.
In July 2004, Tait was signed by Durham for the second half of the English County Championship season. His first match was against a Somerset side captained by Ricky Ponting. His County debut was a poor one and saw him take 0/113 off 12 overs including 21 no balls. Tait only played one more first-class match for Durham before flying home again.
Tait was rewarded with his first Cricket Australia contract for the 2004–05 season, being included ahead of Queensland fast bowler Andy Bichel. Tait repaid the selector's faith in him by having his best Pura Cup season to date. He took 65 first-class wickets at an average of 20.16, surpassing Clarrie Grimmett's record for most wickets in a season for a South Australian bowler. Perhaps Tait's best performance of the season was his spell of 7/99 against Queensland at the Adelaide Oval in November 2004 in which he claimed the wickets of Australian representatives Andrew Symonds, Shane Watson, James Hopes, Jimmy Maher, Andy Bichel and Nathan Hauritz. His record-breaking season helped him gain a place on the Australian 2005 Ashes tour. On this tour, Tait made his Test debut, and played one other first-class match against Worcestershire.
Tait missed the opening half of the 2005–06 Pura Cup season with an injury to his right shoulder which he sustained on the 2005 Ashes tour. He struggled on his return taking only 14 wickets at 38.35 in the 4 matches he played. Despite this, Tait was still named a part of the Australia A squad to play in the 2006 Top End Series. While he failed to pick up any wickets against Pakistan A, he managed to take 3/67 in India A's first innings. Tait also had a strong first-class season in 2006–07 taking 29 wickets at 27.10. He also played a first-class match against the touring English side and took 3/87, including the wickets of Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell. Due to his good season, he won the Lord Hampden Trophy for South Australia's best player for 2006–07.
An elbow injury kept Tait out for the opening parts of the 2007–08 Pura Cup season, however upon recovery a match against Queensland at the Brisbane Cricket Ground saw him take his first 10 wicket haul in first-class cricket. He took 3/69 in the first innings and 7/29 in the second, his best ever first-class figures.
List A cricketEdit
Tait made his List A debut on 1 February 2003 for South Australia against Western Australia. South Australia lost the match and Tait failed to take a wicket, however he was economical in his 7 overs, taking 0/29. While he only played one more List A match in the 2002–03 season, Tait was an important fixture for South Australia in the 2003–04 season.
Tait was South Australia's leading wicket taker, and the second leading wicket taker overall in the 2003–04 ING Cup with 18 wickets at an average of 19.61. The highlight of the season for Tait was undoubtedly his record-breaking haul of 8/43 against Tasmania on 9 January 2004. These were the best ever figures by an Australian in List A cricket, and the eighth best List A figures of all time. In the same season Tait played a One Day match for the Prime Minister's XI against the touring Indians in a team captained by Steve Waugh and was also a part of the Australia A team that took on Zimbabwe in January 2004. 2004–05 saw Tait lead the wicket-taking list in the ING Cup as he took 21 wickets at an average of 19.90, and in 2005–06 his 14 wickets at 13.28 assisted South Australia in reaching the final. Despite the Redbacks losing the final by 1 wicket, Tait provided an excellent performance after his team posted a relatively small target of 154, claiming 6/41 off 10 overs.
In 2006–07, Tait once again earned selection for Australia A for the Top End Series against Indian and New Zealand A sides, and claimed 12 wickets at 21.08 during the Ford Ranger Cup. Tait was once again consistent in the 2007–08 Ford Ranger Cup, taking 12 wickets at 18.91 in the 5 matches he played.
Tait was named in Australia's Test squad to tour Sri Lanka in 2004 as a replacement for the injured Brett Lee. Tait did not play a Test on the tour, however after an impressive domestic summer, in April 2005 Tait was named in Australia's squad to tour England for the 2005 Ashes series.
Tait made his Test debut against England on 25 August 2005 at Trent Bridge. Some suggested that Tait should have played in the first Test of the series, but an injury to Glenn McGrath and the poor form of Jason Gillespie gave Tait his chance. Tait bowled 24 overs and took 3/97 in his first innings, the best figures of any Australian fast bowler in the match. Tait's first Test wicket was that of Marcus Trescothick. He also picked up the scalps of England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff and batsman Ian Bell. While Tait went wicketless in the second innings, he held his spot to play in the final Test of the Ashes series at The Oval, taking 1/61 in the first innings and 1/28 in the second.
Tait injured his shoulder ahead of the Super Series against the ICC World XI, and as a result was ruled out of playing any of the matches. Despite calls from Jason Gillespie and Ian Chappell for his inclusion in the side for the 2006–07 Ashes series in Australia, Tait did not get a place in the team with the selectors opting for Stuart Clark who proved effective and quashed hope of Tait cracking the side for a while longer.
Tait was selected in the 13-man squad for Sri Lanka's tour of Australia in November 2007, however his ongoing elbow injury forced him out, being replaced by Ben Hilfenhaus, with Mitchell Johnson making his Test debut. Having returned to fitness in December, he once again earned a spot in the Australian squad, this time for the Test series against India. While there was some suggestion that Australia might use Tait in a four pronged pace-attack as early as the first Test, spinner Brad Hogg was selected over Tait for the first two Tests. Tait was eventually chosen above Hogg for the third Test, with the WACA wicket expected to suit. Although seam and swing dominated the match, Tait went wicketless in his 21 overs giving away 92 runs at an economy of 4.3. His claims to "bowl over" the Indian team had evidently backfired and he announced that he would take an indefinite break from cricket after this Test.
One Day InternationalsEdit
Tait made his One Day International debut on 2 February 2007 against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the 2006–07 Commonwealth Bank Series. Tait claimed 2/68 off 10 overs on debut and his first One Day International wicket was that of Ed Joyce. He was much more economical against New Zealand at the MCG, bowling a miserly 1/26 from 10 overs and clocking 160 km/h on the radar. Tait played no more games for the series, finishing with 3 wickets at an average of 31.33.
Later that month, Tait was selected as a part of Australia's squad to take on New Zealand for the Chappell–Hadlee Trophy in New Zealand. Tait was selected for the final two games of the series, which were batsman dominated. He took a mere 2 wickets at an average of 62.00 as New Zealand chased down scores of over 300 twice and whitewashed a strong Australian team.
Despite his lack of matches in the Chappell–Hadlee series, Tait was selected in Australia's 15-man squad for the 2007 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies. As a result, both his greatest goals in cricket had been achieved, having already played two Ashes Tests in 2005.
Tait wasn't originally expected to play a large part in the World Cup, however with Brett Lee ruled out for the tournament due to an ankle injury, a relatively inexperienced Tait assumed Lee's mantle as the spearhead of the bowling attack. Despite the added pressure, Tait performed to much acclaim in the World Cup, finishing the tournament as the equal second leading wicket-taker with 23 wickets at an average of 20.30. Tait's best efforts of the tournament included a Man of the Match performance against England in a Super 8s match at Antigua in which he claimed 3/41 off 10 overs, as well as 4/39 off 10 overs, his best One Day International figures at the time, against a strong South African team in the semi-final at St Lucia. While Tait went wicketless in a rain affected Final against Sri Lanka, Australia won the match and Tait's efforts throughout the tournament helped Australia secure their third consecutive and fourth overall Cricket World Cup title in the "most dominant campaign" by a team in World Cup history.
Tait missed the Australian cricket team's tour of India in October 2007 due to a complicated recovery after elbow surgery in June 2007 however once he recovered he gained selection ahead of Stuart Clark for the 2007–08 Chappell–Hadlee series in December 2007. In a series in which his bowling action was questioned, Tait performed well, taking 5 wickets at an average of 17.80.
Tait rejoined the Australian one-day squad for the 2011 Cricket World Cup, playing in seven games and taking 11 wickets before the side lost to India in the quarter-finals. Following Australia's exit from the tournament, Tait announced his retirement from one-day cricket, stating that he intended to focus on Twenty20 cricket instead.
On 29 January 2008, Tait announced that he would take an indefinite break from cricket, citing being physically and emotionally exhausted. He stated, "A break from professional cricket will hopefully give me a clear mind and a chance for my body to rest and recover." In March 2008 Tait claimed he was "feeling normal again" and was aiming for a comeback at the start of the 2008–09 season. The chances of Tait's comeback became even more probable after he was named on the Cricket Australia contract list for the 2008–09 season. Tait had planned to prepare for his return to Australian cricket by playing Domestic Twenty20 cricket in England in the 2008 season.
Tait was called up for a tour with Australia A.[when?] He was successful during this tour, picking up figures of 3/27 in a match against India A.
Cricket Australia announced on 14 May 2009 that Tait would not have his contract renewed for the 2009–10 season. Tait described this as "a kick in the teeth".
Tait signed as an overseas player for Chipstead, Coulsdon & Walcountians in Division 5 of the Surrey Championship in June 2009.
Tait did not have his CA contract for 2009–10 renewed, but after Andrew Symonds' contract was withdrawn after he was sent back from Britain before the 2009 ICC World Twenty20, he was given a replacement contract.
In 2009, Tait gave up first-class cricket indefinitely to focus on the shorter forms of the game.
As a late addition to Australia's one-day squad in 2010, he unleashed a ball against England at Lord's that registered at 161.1 km/h, the second fastest of all time.
In the inaugural season of the Big Bash League, Tait played for the Melbourne Renegades before switching to the Adelaide Strikers in the 2012–13 Big Bash League season. Tait left Adelaide after the 2014–15 season to play for the Hobart Hurricanes for two seasons. In the 2015–16 season, he bowled an economical spell of 3/16. This performance led to him being reselected into the national team for the T20 International series against India, but missed selection for the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 after failing to take a single wicket in the two matches he played.
Career best performancesEdit
|Test||3/97||Australia v England||Trent Bridge, Nottingham||2005 |
|ODI||4/39||Australia v South Africa||Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet, Saint Lucia||2006/07 |
|T20I||3/13||Australia v Pakistan||MCG, Melbourne||2009/10 |
|FC||7/29||South Australia v Queensland||Gabba, Brisbane||2007/08 |
|LA||8/43||South Australia v Tasmania||Adelaide Oval, Adelaide||2003/04 |
|T20||5/32||South Australia v Royal Challengers Bangalore||M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore||2011/12 |
In August 2013, Shaun Tait became engaged to Indian swimsuit model and wine entrepreneur Mashoom Singha, the sister of Shamita Singha who was Femina Miss Earth India 2001. On 12 June 2014, they got married in Mumbai. On 19 March 2017, Tait announced that he had become an overseas citizen of India.
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