We're all flabbergasted by Tait's decision: Ponting

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Brisbane, Feb 3 (UNI) Australia players were taken aback after one of its stunning fast bowlers Shaun Tait announced his retirement from international cricket recently, skipper Ricky Ponting said.

Tait had undergone right elbow surgery during the off-season, which troubled him a lot to get back to his form. His return after a long period in Test cricket at WACA proved to be unlucky for him. He took no wickets and rarely looked threatening in the Test.

''Obviously, Taity has been run down for a long period of time,'' Ponting told the Sun-Herald. ''We never saw it. He is just the happiest bloke to have around the change-room. It's hit me like a ton of bricks. We're all flabbergasted.'' Physical and emotional exhaustion were the reasons for Tait's retirement, the decision of which he made after WACA's bad experience, the skipper said, adding his teammates had not seen signs of Tait's struggles.

''A lot of people may think cricket is all about five-star hotels and living,'' Ponting said and added, ''it is a very hard job and to maintain consistency in playing good cricket for a long time is even more difficult. You could probably ask Phil Jaques about coming in and not understanding how demanding cricket at the highest level really is.'' ''The fact people thought Jaques had the mumps after playing back-to-back Tests was significant. It's no fluke. You get to run down and feel tired. It's having a body and mind that can deal with it and it isn't easy,'' he added.

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