Australia Test skipper Tim Paine

Melbourne [Australia], Dec 29 : Australia’s Test skipper Tim Paine on Sunday lauded Peter Siddle and said that the pacer has been the heart and soul of the team for a long time and he will be missed around the group.

His remarks came after Siddle announced his decision to retire from international cricket.

“Sids has been the heart and soul of the team for a long time. He has a massive heart and is a fantastic bowler. He will be very much missed around the group. He has been unbelievably good for our younger fast bowlers over the last 18 months and been a great support for me during that time, as well,” Paine said in an official statement.

“It is sad to see him leave international cricket, but the time is right for him. He’s had a wonderful career, he’s achieved a lot and I know he’s still got plenty to offer in domestic cricket,” he added.

Siddle made an emotional announcement in front of team-mates at the Melbourne Cricket Ground before the start of play on day four of the ongoing second Test against New Zealand on Sunday, cricket.com.au reported.

He ended his international career at the 13th spot on the list of highest wicket-takers for Australia in the longest format of the game.

Australia coach Justin Langer labelled Siddle as an extremely good cricketer and said that the side will always be thankful to him.

“The year after I retired from playing, Matty Hayden and Ricky Ponting were raving about this guy called Peter Siddle. If it came from them, you knew it was right and so it proved throughout his brilliant international career,” Langer said.

“He is an unbelievable bloke and an extremely good cricketer. He is everything about what a team player is. He has given his heart and soul to the Australian team and the game of cricket,” he added.

The 35-year-old Siddle had made his debut in 2008 against India at Mohali and went to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar to register his first scalp in the longest format of the game.

He also managed to take a Test hat-trick on his birthday during the 2010-11 Ashes.

Siddle also played 22 ODIs and two T20s for Australia. He is currently representing the Adelaide Strikers in the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL).

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