Hartley hangs up the gloves
CRICKET: Veteran Queensland wicketkeeper Chris Hartley has decided to call time on his distinguished career, announcing he will retire at the end of this season.
The 34-year-old will bring down the curtain on his 14-year journey with the Bulls following the end of the Sheffield Shield campaign - one which he hopes will continue after the last regular-season encounter with leader Victoria at Allan Border Field starting tomorrow.
Hartley, Queensland's most-capped wicket-keeeper and the owner of the record for the most Sheffield Shield dismissals in Australian cricket history, will captain the side against the Vics and said this was the right time to bring his career to a close.
"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," he said.
While never playing for Australia, Hartley put together and outstanding career for his home state.
The game against the Bushrangers will be his 131st first class match for Queensland, 100 of those coming consecutively.
Hartley this season broke the record for most career dismissals formerly held by Victorian keeper Darren Berry and now sits on 562 (545 catches and 17 stumpings) for Queensland.
He has scored the most runs by a wicket-keeper in Sheffield Shield cricket (5963) with the next best former Australian keeper Brad Haddin with 5629 runs.
Queensland needs to beat Victoria to keep alive a chance of making the Shield final.
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 more than 500 catches in Sheffield Shield cricket