|Player:||IA Healy, SK Warne, GD McGrath, JL Langer, AR Border, ME Waugh, DC Boon, GS Chappell, DK Lillee, RW Marsh, ML Hayden, AC Gilchrist, MV Boucher|
DateLine: 10th January 2007
After being denied an emotional send-off to his glittering career, Ian Healy hopes Cricket Australia has learned from Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Justin Langer's retirement and offers a fitting farewell for veteran players in the future. Healy described the treatment of past Australian cricketing greats as "ridiculous" and hoped Cricket Australia and national selectors had turned the corner following the outpouring of emotion at the SCG. As a Channel Nine commentator, Healy soaked up the scenes at the SCG as Warne, McGrath and Langer triumphantly signed off following Australia's 5-0 Ashes whitewash of England. The world record-holding wicketkeeper would have been forgiven for having mixed emotions after his request for a similar farewell in his home town of Brisbane was knocked back in 1999, despite playing 119 Tests in 11 years for his country. Instead of being granted a Gabba send-off and a crack at 400 Test dismissals, Healy inadvertently played his last game for Australia in the cricketing wilderness of Harare, Zimbabwe, and finished with 395 scalps. When announcing his retirement in October 1999, Healy said he had been denied a "dream little finish". Healy yesterday said the same "dumb" treatment was handed out to former skipper Allan Border and batsmen Mark Waugh and David Boon. "At the time I said it was dumb that Allan Border, David Boon and my own retirement wasn't done like that (SCG send-off) and it was ridiculous. Mark Waugh was another one (who missed out on a fitting send-off)," Healy said. "I think if you are a 100-Test player you deserve to walk off the field saying goodbye. Maybe they have finally got it right." Healy, 42, said the SCG swansong for McGrath, Warne and Langer was something he would not soon forget, rivalling the 1984 retirements of "three big boys" Greg Chappell, Dennis Lillee and Rod Marsh in the emotion stakes. Healy was replaced as Australian wicketkeeper by Adam Gilchrist in 1999.
The likes of Gilchrist and fellow veteran Matthew Hayden are expected to be among the next round of Australian Test retirements after impressive careers. Gilchrist (381 Test dismissals from 90 Tests) and South African gloveman Mark Boucher (380 from 99) are in sight of Healy's world record.
Healy also played 168 one-day internationals for Australia.