KFC BBL|12: Christian opens up on retirement decision

BBL12, Dan Christian is three, perhaps four games from the conclusion of an outstanding 17-year career and couldn’t be happier. In reality, he’s only bowled seven overs this KFC BBL season and faced 64 deliveries (for 73 runs), but his importance to the Sydney Sixers has never been greater. For Christian, it’s always been about team success, and with nine T20 championships across the globe, he’s certainly the one man everyone wants on their side.

Big Announcement comes up by Christian in BBL12

KFC BBL12 Christian opens up on retirement decision-1

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With three Marsh Sheffield Shield titles with Victoria since his top-level debut in 2006, the Australian-capped allrounder has had an incredibly successful career. And, although his retirement announcement on Saturday came as little surprise considering that the 39-year-old had called a stop on his storied career with Nottinghamshire in July, he could have easily played on if he had chosen to. With his competitiveness intact – as seen by his superb 19th over in a dramatic triumph against the Scorchers last Sunday.

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Christian stated that it was the everyday struggle of preparing to be a professional athlete that finally caused him to hang up his boots. The competitiveness on the field is obviously still there, it’s probably just been the training as much as anything,” Christian said of his decision to retire after Saturday night’s 125-run thrashing of the Thunder at the SCG. “I’ve always taken pleasure in working really hard at training and striving to significantly enhance my game. ”

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But this year, that passion has simply drained a little bit; I’m not as eager to train, and once I began feeling like that, I figured it was definitely time to call it quits.” Christian paid respect to the effect coaching guru Greg Shipperd had on his career in his retirement announcement to the Sixers playing group on Friday, before of the blockbuster Sydney Smash in which Steve Smith scored his second straight century. “Probably the majority of my career has been spent trying to prove people wrong; it’s something I’ve always been driven by, along with winning contests and playing at the next level,” Christian said.

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“Along with that, I’m trying to be appreciative and loyal to those who have supported me along the journey. And ten years ago, I was out of the South Australian squad (and my) career was at a crossroads. I thought I was done until ‘Shippy’ (Shipperd) took me on at Victoria “Six months later, I was back in the Australian squad, three years later, I had three Sheffield Shields under my belt, and now I’m standing here with 400 T20 games, nine (title) victories, and a career that I will look back on as quite successful.”

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He’ll be looking to add a 10th T20 championship to his collection at the end of the season, with the Sixers set to face the Perth Scorchers in the final next Saturday. Christian’s expertise in big events will be vital in the Sixers’ title run as they seek a third championship in four seasons and a record-tying fourth BBL triumph. The proud Wiradjuri man who collaborated with Ashleigh Gardner to create the Sixers’ First Nations shirt thinks the club’s current crop of players is among the greatest of the 19 teams he’s been a part of.

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“It’s right up there given their regular success,” he adds. My Notts squad (with whom he has played the majority of his 406 T20s) was quite similar; we enjoyed steady success during the eight years I was there, missing the quarterfinals just once. The nicest thing about this team, and arguably my Notts side as well, was that it felt like we had a different man-of-the-match every game.

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There were contributions all across the board from batsmen and bowlers, which I believe is the key to having a lot of success in this format. We feel like we began a little slowly (in BBL|12), but we’re playing some excellent cricket again this year. “I’ve enjoyed my time here, and maybe we can end with another victory.”

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