Colin Reid Miller, the most colourful man in world cricket and known for his outrageously dyed hair, has announced his retirement from all first-class competition. Miller, who was recently axed from the Victorian State team, obviously knew the writing was on the wall so far as being picked up by another team competing at the top level was concerned and decided to retire from competition rather than continue with the frustration of looking for a team who would find his services of value at the age of 38 years.
A late bloomer, Miller was thrust into the cricket limelight when selected to play test cricket for Australia in 1998, during the Aussie tour of Pakistan, after having spent 13 years playing first-class cricket. An exceptional off-spin bowler, who under most normal circumstances would have been an automatic inclusion within the Australian team, he was persistently dogged by the popularity of Aussie wonder spinner Shane Warne, who was not only popular with the selectors, but also the hottest spinner in world cricket at the time Miller came to notice.
Miller, who performed exceptionally during every appearance for the Australians during his short 18 test career and was instrumental in the Aussie’s 16 test winning streak, just could not overcome the mindset of the Australian selectors who would include Warne, even if he was out of form. Frustrating as this was for Miller, he continued to push for a spot in the test team through his accomplishments with the ball, but finally succummed to the barrier of his age. Not able to convince those necessary that he was still capable of delivering the goods even if aged in his late 30’s. The axe finally swung on a career, one can only describe as short and colourful, but great while it lasted.
Miller said it was unfortunate the time had come for him to withdraw from the game.
"It will be hard to bid a final farewell to first-class cricket because the game has meant so much to me for such a long time," he said.
"I have been lucky to meet so many great people, play with fantastic team mates and make so many friends, all while playing a game I love. But my time has come and I will hold on to the magnificent memories from 17 years of first-class and international cricket.
"I retire content that I have made the most of my opportunities and I have had some great highlights along the way. Being named Test Player of the Year at the Allan Border Medal was definitely my highest individual honour, but being part of the record-breaking Australian Test team was the best period of my career.
"There have been so many people who have supported me throughout my career and shown faith in what I could do. I cannot thank them enough."
Australian Cricket Board Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said Miller was an excellent contributor to Australian domestic and international cricket.
"Colin has enjoyed an outstanding career and will be remembered as an entertaining, popular, dedicated and inspirational cricketer," Mr Sutherland said.
"His perseverance saw him reach the international cricket level as an older, experienced and versatile cricketer and there is no doubt he had significant impact on the international arena during his 18 Tests."