Tasmanian spinner Xavier Doherty announces first-class cricket retirement

Peak: Xavier Doherty bowls to Alastair Cook as Jonathan Trott backs up during the First Ashes Test at the Gabba, Brisbane, in November 2010. Picture: Will Swan
Peak: Xavier Doherty bowls to Alastair Cook as Jonathan Trott backs up during the First Ashes Test at the Gabba, Brisbane, in November 2010. Picture: Will Swan

Xavier Doherty unknowingly chose a momentous day for cricket in both his country and his home town to announce his first-class retirement.

The 34-year-old stepped down as West Australian Adam Voges and Queenslander Chris Hartley were also pulling up stumps – bringing to an end a combined total of 401 first-class matches.

But it was also a day to look ahead for George Town as Doherty’s Saints clubmate Gabe Bell was called up for his maiden first-class match.

Teammates and administrators lined up to pay tribute to Doherty whose 15-year career began as a teenager in 2001-02 and went on to include international representation in all three formats, four national titles with the Tigers and the 2009-10 Ricky Ponting Medal.

Described by Cricket Tasmania as “one of the state’s most respected and highly successful cricketers”, the left-arm orthodox spinner played four Test matches, 60 One-Day Internationals and 11 T20 Internationals.

“I have absolutely loved being a Tasmanian cricketer and I sometimes have to pinch myself when I think about the opportunities and highlights I have had throughout my career,” Doherty said. 

“I feel very grateful to have been part of such a successful, exciting and important era for Tasmanian cricket.

“Receiving my cap for Tasmania as a young 19-year-old was pretty special and to go on to be called up for Australia in 2010 and claim that Baggy Green was a surreal feeling. Both those moments were amazing.

​“However, it was celebrating the wins and each other's success with my teammates that I will treasure the most.”

Doherty thanked his wife Emma, daughters Scarlett and Eloise, the rest of his family, teammates and Cricket Tasmania.

Emerging through the NTCA, Doherty broke into the Tigers team at the age of 19.

Returning his best short-form figures of 4-18 in the 2008 one-day final against Victoria, he won two other one-day titles and the Sheffield Shield in 2010-11.

He took four wickets on his international debut against Sri Lanka in 2010 and later that month debuted at Test level in an Ashes draw at a batting-friendly Gabba. 

An international career spanning from 2010-15 concluded with Australia’s victorious World Cup campaign. 

Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland said Doherty, who will remain available for the next Big Bash League, proved he could compete against the best players in the world.

“Xavier was an outstanding competitor who always represented Australia to the best of his abilities,” he said.

  • Tests: 4 matches, 51 runs at 12.75, 7 wickets at 78.29
  • First Class: 71 matches, 1272 runs at 14.13, 163 wickets at 42.65
  • ODIs: 60 matches, 101 runs at 14.42, 55 wickets at 40.43
  • One day for Tasmania: 106 matches, 691 runs at 17.72, 120 wickets at 32.21
  • T20i: 11 matches, 18 runs at 18.00, 10 wickets at 30.00
  • Domestic T20: 58 matches, 120 runs at 17.14, 45 wickets at 34.71
  • Ricky Ponting Medallist, 2009-10