Johan Botha retires from all cricket
In the current BBL season, Johan Botha took 8 wickets at an economy of 7.44. (Image: Hurricanes' Twitter)

Johan Botha, the former South Africa allrounder, announced a surprise retirement following his Big Bash League match for the Hobart Hurricanes against Sydney Sixers on Wednesday. Botha, 36, will retire from all forms of cricket effective immediately. As per a statement released by the Hurricanes, Botha cited “wear and tear on his body and sheer physical fatigue” behind his decision.

“To the Hobart Hurricanes, thank you for making my last season one I will remember forever… I will be your number one supporter,” Botha penned in an open letter. “It is obviously a very emotional moment for me, but I just feel deep down that the time has come for me to move onto the next phase of my career. Cricket has been a part of my life for 19 years & a dream of mine to play at this level since I can remember.”

With Hurricanes placed at the top of the points table with 16 points from 10 matches, Botha has been the Hurricanes most economical bowler this season taking eight wickets at an economy rate of 7.44. However, the sudden announcement means that Botha will no longer take part in the BBL.

“I have always left everything out there on the field, but at the moment I just feel like it’s time for me to step aside & let the next players come through,” Botha added.

“Coming into this current season I had some injury concerns & getting through every game has become harder. This has given me the final nudge to make this very difficult but important decision, to hang up my boots for good.”

Botha had announced his international retirement in 2012 but continued to play domestic cricket turning out in the BBL, playing for Adelaide Strikers and Sydney Sixers before joining the Hurricanes. After moving to Australia, he played for South Australia and red the Redbacks to the Australian domestic title.

Despite having retired almost seven years ago, Botha had, time and again, come under scrutiny for a suspect bowling, but on each occasion, he was able to overcome the obstacle. During his international career, Botha also got to captain Australia in 21 ODIs and T20I matches combined. Having played in various T20 tournaments across the globe, Botha finishes having taken 163 wickets and scored 1966 runs in 215 T20 matches.