Ollie Rayner, the offspinner who gained the County Championship with Middlesex in 2016, has confirmed his retirement from cricket on the age of 34 after his launch on the finish of final season.
Rayner, a tall spinner with an orthodox motion, took 51 wickets at 23.56 in Middlesex’s title-winning staff in 2016, however was consigned to a holding function within the following three seasons and was twice despatched out on mortgage after falling down the pecking order behind Ravi Patel and Nathan Sowter.
Intriguingly, each these mortgage spells had been to Division One counties (Hampshire in 2018 and Kent in 2019) whereas Middlesex had been within the second tier, demonstrating the excessive regard through which he was held elsewhere but additionally a breakdown in his relationship with the membership.
Confirming his retirement in an interview with wisden.com, Rayner revealed that he solely came upon he had been placed on the mortgage checklist final season when he was known as by Kent “telling me they had been wanting ahead to having me on mortgage”.
“I used to be like: ‘Maintain on a sec, I’ve acquired to speak to my household.’ There have been issues that positively may have been carried out higher.”
Rayner additionally stated that enjoying beneath Dawid Malan‘s captaincy from 2018 onwards was “very arduous work”, suggesting that he by no means felt as if he had been given sufficient alternative to impress. Malan left Middlesex on the finish of final season, and since his departure a number of gamers have indicated that the dressing room had been a tough place beneath his management.
“I did not at all times see eye to eye with Dawid,” Rayner stated. “We had a chat on the finish of final season and I stated that if he goes to Yorkshire he ought to simply keep out of the politics and get on along with his batting as a result of he is a wonderful participant. If he can do this he’ll go far.
“I have not essentially acquired any animosity there, however that relationship did not actually assist me personally in my development.”
Rayner beforehand detailed his frustrations concerning the plight of the English spin bowler in a 2015 article for ESPNcricinfo, through which he stated “it isn’t simple being an English spin bowler at this second in time”, and his case was backed up by his use in 2018, when he went unused in 5 of the 9 Championship video games he performed.
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“Over the previous couple of years I have been famend as regular Ollie; I’ve supplied numerous management in what have been seamer-friendly situations – I do not suppose I thrived beneath that.
“It simply clicked in 2016. I simply felt so backed. In my profession once I’ve had my finest years it is once I’ve been used as an attacking choice.
“That yr they had been depending on me for breaking partnerships. Adam Voges was sensible in that he’d bowl me earlier than lunch, and while you bowl properly you keep on and earn the correct.”
Rayner ended his profession with 313 first-class wickets to his title at 33.26 apiece, plus an extra 53 in Record A cricket and 41 in T20s.
He began his profession at Sussex, making a handful of first-team appearances within the aspect that gained the Professional40 (2008, 2009), the Twenty20 Cup (2009) and Division Two of the Championship (2010) earlier than becoming a member of Middlesex, initially on mortgage, in 2011.
He spent the 2013-14 and 2016-17 winters on England Lions excursions, and was maybe unlucky to overlook out on the Take a look at excursions to Bangladesh and India in 2016-17 having been missed for Zafar Ansari and Gareth Batty. Other than the Championship win, his best hour got here at The Oval in 2013, when his 15-wicket haul sealed a memorable win in opposition to Surrey.