South Australian great Chadd Sayers said goodbye to cricket on Tuesday as his state stares down the barrel of a record which could put their program under a harsh spotlight.
The Redbacks have gone through the entire domestic season, both Sheffield Shield and one-day games, without a single win after the final clash with Victoria in Melbourne ended in an early draw.
With a final one-day clash against the Vics to come on Thursday, SA needs a victory to avoid becoming just the second team in domestic history to go through the whole season without a single win in any format.
The early finish on Tuesday was also a sixth draw from eight games for the Vics who finished second-last on the table in the first year of new coach Chris Rogers’ tenure, but did win once.
It was a much less successful first season in change for former Test quick, and SA hero Jason Gillespie, as his team recorded zero wins, five losses and three draws in eight Sheffield Shield games.
The closest his team came to victory was a thrilling contest against Western Australia in which the home team survived for a WACA draw, nine wickets down in March.
That was a positive according to skipper Travis Head who pointed to his team’s performance in the second half of the season as an upside out of a tough year.
“Post Christmas we were pretty good. There are no wins in the wins column but as you go out of the game and debrief, there have been positives,” he said.
“Victoria have won one (game) Tassie have won one, they are difficult to come by.
“But our batting this season has been really good … we’ve declared a lot, we made over 500 in Perth. We’ve found out a lot about some guys.
“You look at everything at the end of the season. I think we have the right people and hopefully what we add … we can add good people who want to work hard and get better.”
Chadd Sayers walks off after his final Sheffield Shield match for South Australia (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Opener Henry Hunt was one of those positives for SA, scoring his second century of the season with 127 against the Vics.
But as one young star emerged, a veteran star departed and Head conceded losing Sayers, his team’s leading wicket taker again this season would leave a “massive hole” in the side.
Sayers, who finished with 279 Sheffield Shield wickets after making his debut in 2011 and also played a single Test in South Africa in 2019, was given a guard of honour as he walked off the ground.
“His passion for South Australian cricket, his work ethic, the way he has lead the attack for 10 years now, he’s been massive,” Head said.
“I know he personally had some successful years which helped us to play in a couple of Shield finals, it was enjoyable and he was a lot of fun to play with.,
“He’ll be missed a lot. But there’s an opportunity now for someone to lead that attack.”
Chadd Sayers took a wicket to remember in his final #SheffieldShield fixture. Read how his farewell to first class cricket played out with our Match Report 🗞️
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