Speaking for the first time since announcing his retirement from international cricket, James Pattinson has revealed the depth of his injury pain.
Aussie Test star Pat Cummins tried to talk close mate James Pattinson out of retiring from international cricket, but when Cummins’ fellow quick could “hardly pick up his kid” after training sessions over the winter, he knew the time was right.
Pattinson sent shockwaves through the cricket world by retiring from the Australian team last month despite most pundits believing he’d be the first cab off the rank if any of the “big three” fast bowlers went down injured ahead of the Ashes this summer.
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Speaking to the press for the first time since making his bombshell announcement, Pattinson revealed it wasn’t just cricket fans who were keen for him to stay in the mix for the Ashes.
“I’m pretty close with Patty Cummins and I rang him before I was (announcing my retirement) and he said, ‘Is there any way that I could convince you to stay?’” Pattinson told reporters on Thursday.
But after he suffered yet another injury blow this year, this time to his knee, Pattinson’s mind was made up.
“I started the pre-season really early to try and give myself the best possible chance to get my body right for the Ashes,” he explained, “I started, really, really well.
“But then the Covid-19 stuff hit and I got injured and it just dragged out.
“Every time I was bowling in the nets, every time I tried to bowl at 100 per cent, I was pulling up really sore.”
Pattinson opened up on just how taxing his latest injury proved to be.
“There were days after bowling indoors that the next day I could hardly walk. I could hardly pick up my kid when I got home,” he revealed.
“There were times there when I was getting pretty emotional with how sore I was.”
While Pattinson said it was a “tough” decision to walk away from international cricket for good, he now feels as if a weight has been lifted off his shoulders.
“Since I’ve backed off a little bit, my body’s feeling OK,” he said.
“I’ll just be able to relax a bit, not having to bust myself to play cricket.
“I’ve made a decision and I’m relieved and happy.”
Pattinson is eligible for an English passport but he shot down rumours that he could follow in his brother’s footsteps and defect.
“I’ve got no intention of playing Test cricket for England,” Pattinson said.
Instead, he’s eager to give back to the Victorian bowling unit over the summer and to play a full BBL tournament for the first time.
“I’m just looking forward to the next stage of my career,” he said.
“I’ll probably go over and play with (English county cricket side) Nottingham next year and then come back here and play Big Bash and play for Victoria.
“Now I can move on to trying to help out some of the younger bowlers of Victoria.”
Pattinson said he hadn’t always focused on nurturing the next generation of quicks, but he felt that he was now ready to step up and become a mentor.
“I probably have been a bit selfish (in the past) because you’re always trying to strive for higher honours, whereas now I can relax and hopefully just help out some young guys and really just enjoy being around Victoria,” he said.
“Hopefully, I can pass on my experience and knowledge.”
The next chapter of Pattinson’s career begins on Friday when he’ll line up for Victoria’s second match of the Sheffield Shield against NSW at the MCG.
Having missed the first clash last week through injury, Pattinson said he was eager to get to work.
“I’m just looking forward to playing for Victoria,” he said.