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"Cricket and sports needed someone like that"
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"Cricket and sports needed someone like that"

Ryan Bachoo profile picThe Australian cricketer known by his many fans as Mr. Cricket has ended his international career, but Ryan Bachoo, 23, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Trinidad & Tobago, says his longstanding respect for Mike Hussey lies not in what he achieved on the field, but in the focus and  perseverance  he displayed along the way.

It’s not very often I venture away from the political pastures of Washington and Wall Street to the beautiful, happy gardens of sport.

The last time I did was two years ago, when England won the Ashes Down Under. You can say it takes a special occasion for me to divert, but the man I’m about to celebrate is well worth putting off debates about fiscal cliff debates and rising oil prices.

Mike Hussey, Australian middle-order batsman, finished his international cricket career on January 7th, 2013.  Four days before the end of 2012, on December 28th, “Mr. Cricket” as he is popularly known, called time on his seven-year life as an Australian cricketer.

Daniel Brettig of ESPNCricinfo delivered the news with the opening line “Michael Hussey has left the cricket world wondering why he is retiring, rather than why not.”

It’s an interesting question, especially at a time when Australian cricket is seeing an exodus of experienced Test players. Sydney Morning Herald Sports Writer, Andrew Wu, tweeted shortly after the news, “M.Hussey’s retirement, after Ponting & Haddin, means 289 Tests out Aust dressing room in last 12 months #cricket”.

I’m a very, very big Mike Hussey fan but his Test average of 51.52 along with 79 consecutive Test Matches, 19 Test centuries, and 29 Test half-centuries are just a very small feature that makes the man. My longstanding respect for Mike Hussey lies not in what he achieved as an Australian cricketer over the past seven years, but what went before that.

Before entering the Australian fray in 2005, Hussey scored a staggering 17,000+ First Class runs with Western Australia, Northamptonshire, Gloucestershire and Durham. In the crucial years while trying to breakthrough to the Australian team, Hussey did just about everything required.

His career total of 6,471 runs ranks eighth in the list of Western Australian’s run-makers in the Sheffield Shield. He moved to England in July, 2001 scoring an unbeaten 329 (a Northamptonshire club record) at Wantage Road in his side’s 633 for six declared on the way to a 10-wicket victory. In August, 2003 he surpassed his own Northamptonshire record, scoring 331 not out against Somerset at Taunton.

Yet, it wasn’t until the age of 29 that Mike Hussey was called to the Australian One Day International team. He would have to wait a further 20 months before debuting against the West Indies in Brisbane in Test Match Cricket. Even then, once called-up in November, 2005 Hussey was sent to open the batting, a position he would eventually make way for Justin Langer later in the 3 Test series that Australia won 3-0.

But even for a cricket lover like myself, it’s his remarkable qualities of perseverance, focus, and determination that really earned Mike Hussey my admiration and that of so many others. Such an achievement is no small feat. The sporting world at the turn of the century really belonged to the youth. Sports began looking at the future rather than the past. If Mike Hussey was a footballer, he would have no chance of getting into Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal team.

It’s hardly likely you will see a cricketer debuting at the age of 30 in modern day cricket. The closest is Jonathan Trott’s inclusion into the England Ashes squad at 28 in 2009. England’s Mark Ramprakash scored a stunning 35,659 First Class runs, yet his international career of 52 Test Matches started and ended in the space of 10 years during the ‘90s. It takes something much more than just sheer determination and luck. It takes that gritty stuff champions are made off.

Cricket and sports needed someone like that.

German-born theoretical physicist Albert Einstein had speech difficulty as a child and failed his university entrance exam. Teachers said he wouldn’t amount to much, yet his theories overthrew the God of Science, Issac Newton. Michael Jordan, American former professional basketball player, locked himself in his room and cried when he was dropped from his High School Basketball team. American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor and animator Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper for “lacking imagination” and “having no original ideas.” At 30 years old Steve Jobs, co-founder and Chief Executive of Apple, had to start all over after being unceremoniously removed from the company he had started.

Like a former Trinidad and Tobago footballer said of our youth, “the problem with today’s children is that they all want success, now!”

It is perhaps the truest statement I have ever heard. In a world where most of us trip, lost in sight of the rewards awaiting us at the top, Mike Hussey is an example of how we should climb the stairs to success.

Photo: Mike Hussey with kids. Credit: Herald Sun

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About me:

“Hi, my name Ryan Bachoo. I’m a Journalist and Public Relations Practitioner from PrincesTown in the twin island of Trinidad and Tobago. I’ve moved into the field of Mass Communication now. I currently work for the West Indies Cricket Board, protecting the online image of West Indies Cricket.

I’ve been a Broadcast Journalist at Cable News Channel 3 for three years. For the Commonwealth Youth Secretariat, I write on topics of politics, war and economics.”

Ryan Bachoo

Journalist & Public Relations Practitioner

The People’s Writer

I speak for those who have no voice!

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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