Bulls Legend Calls It A Day
Chris Hartley, Queensland’s most capped wicket-keeper and the owner of the record for the most Sheffield Shield dismissals in Australian cricket history, has today announced he will retire at the end of the season.
Hartley, 34, informed his my FootDr Queensland Bulls teammates, coaches and staff yesterday of his decision to bring down the curtain on his 14-year career at the end of the Sheffield Shield season.
The Bulls will take on current Shield leaders Victoria at Allan Border Field tomorrow in their last regular season game, a must-win match with Queensland one of four teams chasing a berth in the Shield decider.
Hartley, who will captain the team, is making his comeback from a finger injury that ruled him out of the past two Shield matches.
The Bushrangers game will be his 131st for Queensland, which included 100 straight first class games for the Bulls and a host of playing records since making his debut in 2003-04.
During the 2017-18 season he claimed the record for most career dismissals from ex-Victorian gloveman Darren Berry, and goes into tomorrow’s match with 562 dismissals for Queensland in First Class cricket (545 catches and 17 stumpings).
He has scored the most runs by a wicket-keeper in Sheffield Shield cricket (5,963) with the next best former Australian ‘keeper Brad Haddin with 5,629 runs.
Hartley, a three-time winner of the Ian Healy Trophy as the best Queensland player, also played 96 One Day games and 55 T20 matches in his career.
He said today that the time felt right to step aside.
“I had been thinking about it for a while and so when it came time to let people know, it didn’t feel as hard as I might have imagined,’’ he said
“There will be some emotion I guess when it is all done and dusted but for now it is focusing on what we have left to achieve.”
“I remember when I first started playing for Queensland, Andy Bichel said to play each game as if it were your last, and that is how I have approached my career. It won’t change now.”
Hartley said the lure of a Shield Final remained the strongest motivator for the squad.
“I don’t imagine there will be any talk from the players about sending me out a winner – we want to play our best cricket as a team so anything like that can be talked about later over a beer when the game’s done.”
Queensland Cricket CEO Max Walters congratulated Hartley on his outstanding career.
“Chris has been the embodiment of the Queensland Bulls ethos and spirit for many years and has forged an enviable reputation as a leader on and off the field,’’ he said.
“As well as his exceptional skills with the gloves and his tenacity and ability with the bat, Chris has been a worthy custodian of the culture surrounding the baggy maroon cap.”
“We will no doubt enjoy the opportunity to properly acknowledge Chris and his achievements at the end of season dinner, but we wish him and the rest of the Bulls all the best for their important match at Allan Border Field,” Walters said.
Chris Hartley Fact Box
• Took over from Wade Seccombe in 2003-04
• Scored 10 Centuries (all in Shield Cricket) with a highest score of 142 not out
• Most recent century was 102 not out against Tasmania last month
• Holds the Sheffield Shield record for most consecutive matches as the wicket keeper
• Holds the world record for not conceding a bye while 2970 runs were scored against Queensland in the 2005-06 season.
• Taken 562 dismissals for Queensland in First Class cricket (545 catches and 17 Stumpings)
• Taken 547 dismissals in Sheffield Shield cricket (532 catches and 15 stumpings) – the most by a wicket keeper in that competition
• The only wicket keeper to have over 500 catches in Sheffield Shield cricket
The Shield match starts tomorrow at Allan Border Field with free admission. The game will be live-streamed through cricket.com.au
my FootDr Queensland Bulls
Chris Hartley (c)
(12th man to be named)