Somerset's Andy Caddick has announced that he will retire from first-class cricket at the end of the current season
SOMERSET’S Andy Caddick has announced that he will retire from first-class cricket at the end of this season, after a glittering career that has spanned three decades.
The tall, lean paceman was born in Christchurch in New Zealand to English parents in November 1968 and after deciding that he wanted to try his hand at professional cricket arrived at the County Ground back in 1989.
He first played for Somerset Seconds in 1989, and in the three games he appeared in he took 15 wickets at an average of 19.6 on the strength of which he was awarded a contract by the Cidermen.
He made his first-class debut for the county two years later and since then has become a cricketing legend and a firm favourite among the County Ground faithful. Earlier this season the new Andy Caddick Pavilion was opened.
The England selectors also realised that the Caddick was something very special and he made his Test debut in 1993.
In that same season "Caddy" enjoyed the best figures of his career – nine for 32 – to help Somerset to an unlikely victory against Lancashire at the County Ground. Caddick's best season was in 1998 when he ended with 105 wickets to his name – the last Somerset player to do so in the first class game
For England the 6ft 6in bowler played in a total of 62 Test matches in which he took 234 wickets at a cost of just 29.91 each, making him one of the most successful bowlers of the modern era.
Two seasons ago, aged 38, Caddick was a major force behind Somerset regaining their division one status in the county championship. Sadly he was missing from the scene for much of last season and this season struggled with fitness for the first few months before making his first appearance in championship victory over Yorkshire at the end of June.
With the three wickets that he has claimed in the current game against Nottinghamshire Caddick has taken his first class wicket haul to 1,178.
After the close of the third day's play Caddick said: "I wanted to be able to call time when I was still strong and mentally fit rather than just playing for the sake of it. I wanted to make sure that it was on my terms rather than somebody else's."
Looking ahead to the rest of the season he added: "As long as I stay fit and the team are performing to the best of their ability then I want to remain involved. It is important to me and I want to continue to keep on putting the performances in."
Regarding his favourite memories for Somerset he said: "That would be back in 1993 when I bowled Lancashire out to end with nine for 32 and was only sorry that Mushtaq took the tenth! There was also my hat-trick playing against Gloucestershire – these are the fond memories of playing down here.
"Bowling Australia out cheaply in 1997, being Player of the Series against New Zealand just after Duncan Fletcher had taken over and then the great series against West Indies at home. To cap it all was my last Test, against Australia when I took ten wickets. I have so many great memories."
Paying tribute to Caddick the Somerset director of cricket Brian Rose said: "I was lucky enough to captain Joel Garner and Ian Botham and if I were asked to pick a post-war team I would have Andrew in the side with them because he deserves to be bracketed with those players.
"I would like to compliment him on a great career. Not many players continue in the first-class game past the age of 40 and he has been a tremendous servant to Somerset cricket.
"It is always preferable to retire on a high note and Caddy's timing is right, having done wonderfully well to return after two setbacks in recent seasons, including major back surgery.
"While he won't be involved with the club on an official basis, I am hoping to persuade him to come in during the winter to work with some of our young players.
"He won't play in the Pro40 League for us this season, but as long as we are in with a shout for catching Durham in the Championship he will be considered for selection in four-day cricket."
For Somerset Caddick has taken 873 first-class wickets and 1,142 in all competitions. He has been a wonderful servant to Somerset who has never given any less than 100 per cent and will go down as one of the club's greatest bowlers.