No BBL fairytale for Hurricanes' Botha

Hurricanes spinner Johan Botha has made a shock retirement announcement ahead of the BBL finals.
Hurricanes spinner Johan Botha has made a shock retirement announcement ahead of the BBL finals.

Veteran allrounder Johan Botha has forgone a potential Big Bash League fairytale to give someone else a chance to start writing their own story.

The South African surprised many when he retired from all forms of cricket on Wednesday night, effective immediately, with his ladder-leading Hobart Hurricanes on course for the BBL crown.

"For me, just hanging around for (a title) would not have been the right play," Botha said on Thursday.

"You could hang on and hang on and that never happens. That's a reality.

"There's not always a fairytale ending for everything."

Feeling his game and body were deteriorating, the 36-year-old said the time was right.

"I woke up this morning and my back was sore again and I thought 'I'm glad I don't have to bowl again'," Botha said.

"I don't think I'm competing any more at the same level I used to. I'm feeling like I'm not quite there and I'm probably holding a spot back.

"It's a good time to open that No.8 spot up, especially with four games to go to the playoffs."

Who will step in remains a mystery but young Tasmanian spinning allrounder Jarrod Freeman has been touted as a replacement.

Botha, who received Australian citizenship in 2016, endorsed the idea of another spinner but said the Hurricanes couldn't go wrong with a number of good young players around.

Botha finished wicketless in Wednesday night's nine-wicket loss to the Sydney Sixers, his final appearance for the Hurricanes after featuring in all 10 matches this season.

With D'Arcy Short (473), Matthew Wade (387) and George Bailey (264) piling on the runs, he only batted twice and finished not out (1 and 4) in both innings.

But his right-arm tweakers proved valuable, taking eight wickets at an economy rate of 7.45.

Botha, who played five Tests, 78 ODIs and 40 T20Is for South Africa from 2005 to 2012, said he'd played enough cricket for a lifetime.

"Nineteen years of it - it's been quite a while," he said.

Australian Associated Press