Queensland swing bowler Chris Swan has today confirmed he has retired from representative cricket and will finish out his career where it started, with Surfers Paradise in the local Gold Coast competition.
Swam played 31 first class and 23 one-day games for the XXXX GOLD Queensland Bulls, taking 101 wickets at 25.92 in the long form of the game and 31 wickets at 27.38 in the limited overs format.
He also played one KFC T20 Big Bash League game for the Brisbane Heat after being a member of their inaugural squad last season.
A late bloomer, Swan made his debut for Queensland as a 28-year-old in 2006-07 and established himself as a crafty new ball bowler and damaging lower order batsman.
He scored three Sheffield Shield half centuries, with a highest score of 82, and shared in a record match-winning partnership of 57 with fellow quick Luke Feldman against Victoria in February 2010.
It was the greatest run chase to secure victory by a 10th wicket pairing in the 120-year history of Australian first class cricket.
Swan etched his name into the Queensland Cricket record books by taking the third best match bowling figures for Queensland in history in 2010-11.
He took 6-69 and 7-75 against South Australia at Allan Border Field in November 2010, his 13-144 putting him behind only Peter Allan’s 13-110 (in 1968-69) and Ross Duncan’s 13-125 (in 1970-71).
In the limited overs arena, he took 4-34 on debut to claim man of the match honours and was a member of the 2008-09 Ford Ranger Cup championship team.
Bulls coach Darren Lehmann paid tribute to Swan, describing him as part of the maroon fabric that tied the squad together.
“I enjoyed working with Swanny for a few reasons. He was a great example of someone who never gave up on his own ability to achieve the goals he wanted to reach,’’ he said.
“He was also a quintessential Queenslander – he was great within the group and reminded everyone that playing for your State was something that was to be cherished and celebrated,’’ Lehmann said.
“We’ll miss him from the group, that’s for sure. We all wish him the best for the future and I’m sure we’ll look forward to seeing him around the Gabba down the track,’’ he said.
Swan said it had been a privilege to have played for the Bulls, which he described as simply being in the right place at the right time.
“I never really thought I was in the mix. It took some injuries to some top notch players at the time for me to come into contention and looking back, I was happy just to be given a chance,’’ he said.
“Opening the bowling with a legend like Andy Bichel in my debut is still one of my career highlights and that includes winning the one-day final and taking the 13 wickets in a game, although taking a six for and a seven for in one match was pretty special.”
“I thought taking five wickets for Queensland was about as good as it gets,’’ Swan said.
Swan said he had pursued a simple approach to the game in his representative career.
“I was never a gym junkie or leading the field when it came to fitness sessions. I just wanted to play the game and have fun with my mates.
“I was lucky that I had someone like Joe Dawes as my bowling coach for a lot of it. We were both late starters in our playing careers and Joey identified that for me, it was all about my skill level with the ball and getting it spot on, rather than the bigger, faster, stronger approach.”
Swan started his cricket as a junior with the Surfers Paradise club, playing third grade at the age of 12 and first grade seniors at 13, and will enjoy his playing swan song with the club this summer.
“As long as the body holds up, I plan to have a few games with them this year and hopefully give a bit back to the club and help the young kids coming through to learn the game and understand what makes it special.”
He said he was confident the Bulls would continue to build on last year’s Bupa Sheffield Shield victory.
“They’ve got a great coach in Boof (Lehmann) and some exceptional talent coming through, particularly in the bowlers. I know some of them will be going all the way to top in the years to come and I’ll be cheering them on from the outer at the Gabba when they do!”
Swan, who worked as a pest controller throughout his playing career, said he would appreciate the extra time retirement would afford him to build his business.
“Yep, I’ll just have to concentrate on knocking over termites rather than batsmen from now, hey!’’ he said.