Former Test spinner Xavier Doherty says he has lived out his boyhood dreams and will leave cricket feeling proud of his achievements.
Doherty will announce his retirement today at 3.30pm in Hobart, ending a 16-year elite career, the pinnacle of which was representing Australia in four Test matches between 2010 and 2013. The 34-year-old left arm orthodox bowler says he will be available to play in the Big Bash League later this year.
"I'm still open to it if something comes along," he said. "But I'll be quite content if it doesn't."
Doherty played 60 One Day Internationals and 11 Twenty20 matches. His 71 First-Class matches included Tasmania's 2010-11 Sheffield Shield victory. He played in three of the state's domestic limited overs title wins and won the Ricky Ponting Medal as Tasmania's Player of the Year in 2009-10. He took seven wickets in Tests, including three in the second innings against India at Hyderabad in 2013.
"I think over the next few months I'll be able to sit back and look at what I've achieved, the good times and not so good times as well.
"I've spent the last few weeks just thinking about whether this is the right thing to do, but I'm pretty comfortable with where it sits at the moment," Doherty said.
"I guess the way Tassie cricket and personally the way the last 18 months or two years have worked out, it's not the ideal way I saw things happening. But I think, when you look a bit more broadly, it's been 15 or 16 years in the system and I feel pretty lucky to have been part of some pretty successful Tasmanian sides and lived out all my boyhood dreams of playing for Australia and playing around the world.
"I'm certainly pretty proud of how it's all panned out. I think over the next little while I'll ponder it a bit more, all those times. I certainly leave feeling pretty chuffed about the things I've been able to tick off."
Doherty, who is married with two young children, feels privileged to have played throughout a period of great change.
"The way the game's played is completely different from when I started," he said.
"You think about the impact T20's had and how big the game's become. The way the game's played, the fear factor with batters has certainly gone away. As a spin bowler bowling on a reasonably flat home wicket I've certainly seen first-hand how much the game's changed.
"The game's in a strong position and I feel lucky to have been part of an exciting era."
Doherty plans to work with a landscaper he met through the Australian Cricketers' Association's Beyond The Boundary program, which provides players with work experience opportunities outside the game.
"I think eventually I'll be back in the game in some way, shape or form," he said.
"I think it'll be good to have a break and clear my head a bit. But the game's been pretty good to me and I think I've got something I can give back."