STUART MACGILL is set to retire from cricket once and for all after being offered a paltry $20,000 contract with the Sydney Sixers.
While some critics questioned whether MacGill was past it, the former Australian leg-spinner proved the doubters wrong when he returned from retirement to play in the inaugural Big Bash League.
At the age of 41, MacGill was one of the tournament’s best-performing bowlers, snaring seven wickets at an average of 23.7 with an economy rate of just 6.64.
But rather than rewarding him with a better deal, Sixers management is believed to have again tabled the minimum contract permissible. While a $1 million salary cap the amount the squad can earn, MacGill’s offer was a fraction of what some of his teammates were offered. Third-party arrangements are permissible to top up payments, but it is understood the Sixers did not source any for MacGill.
He is juggling several other professional commitments, including a consumer insights position at advertising agency Razor Group and new roles with Google Plus and YouTube. A six-week sabbatical to play cricket, at the minimum wage, could potentially jeopardise those deals.
While the big turner has not provided officials with a definitive decision, sources close to MacGill have told The Sun-Herald he won’t play in the Big Bash League this year. The development also clouds his involvement in the Champions League in South Africa.
”He clearly still has it, he dismissed the best batsman in the competition last year,” a source said. ”I can’t believe they didn’t make him a priority signing.”
Attempts to contact MacGill for comment were unsuccessful.
While many predicted the Twenty20 format would sound the death knell for slow bowlers, MacGill and Melbourne Stars drawcard Shane Warne proved there is room in the game for experienced wrist-spinners. MacGill, who took 208 Test wickets at an average of 29.02, finished with slightly better figures than the ”Sheik of Tweak” last year.
Having already signed stars David Warner, Brad Haddin, Brett Lee, Stephen O’Keefe, Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc, the Sixers roster is almost complete.
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