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Damien Martyn

Damien Richard Martyn (born 21 October 1971) is an Australian cricket commentator and former cricketer who played ODIs and Tests. He was a member of the national team in sporadic fashion from 1992-1994 before becoming an regularly ODI participant from the year 1999 until 2000, and then an established Test player from 2000 until his retirement the latter part of the year. He was mostly right-handed middle-order player with an ‘classical’ approach, particularly for his slick stroke-making square of the wicket the off-side as well as through the covers.

Martyn was also a frequent fielder of medium pace and notable in the covers , who could produce stunning run-outs. He would also, at times, keep wickets at a first-class standard. He was named the man of the series at the Border Gavaskar Trophy in 2004 in order to assist Australia beat India at the Subcontinental Cricket Association for the very first time in over 30 years. He also was announced in the early part of 2005 for an Australian Test player of the year during each year’s Allan Border Medal presentations.

Domestic career

Martyn relocated along with the family of his parents with his family to Perth, Western Australia at the age of 3 and attended Girrawheen Senior High School, before being chosen as a member of the Australian Cricket Academy in Adelaide in 1990. He made his first-class appearance for Western Australia the following season and scored 822 runs in 51.37.

Following his return to the Australian arena, Martyn was named the captain for Western Australia in the 1994/95 season, aged 23. He was the youngest player to be awarded the distinction. He also played for Australia A in the international ODI competition in the same year. In the following year He handed over the captaincy on to Tom Moody, in order to focus on his batting.

On September 1, 2007, it was reported by The Daily Telegraph that Martyn had been a member of the breakaway Indian Cricket League. But, since then, Martyn has pulled out of the tournament because of the birth of his child, Ryder, but rejoined the ICL for the 2008 season.

On January 19, 2010 Martyn was signed for $100,000 to join the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League.

International career

Admired for his daring and sometimes reckless strokeplay, Martyn was chosen for his first Test appearance against the West Indies in November, 1992 at the Gabba as a surprise alternative to Dean Jones. Martyn batted in the middle order with a score of 35 and 15. He was a part of all Tests during the season, aside of the fourth Test at Adelaide Oval. Adelaide Oval where he was substituted with his fellow Western Australian Justin Langer after being injured prior to the game.

But his performance was not convincing with 168 runs in 28.16 for the entire series, and breaking 50 just once, and registering his unbeaten score of 67* in the MCG. Martyn was also a part of the ODI squad that played that season and played less frequently in just four of 11 games, and recording 45 runs with 22.5.

Martyn was later removed from the Test squad during the early 1993 tour of New Zealand, until being called back for the third Test in Eden Park, Auckland after Mark Waugh was dropped, scoring 74. Martyn was also a part of some of the ODIs that followed on the New Zealand tour as well as the 1993 Ashes tour to England however, he was removed from the Test team following the fact that Mark Waugh scored hundreds in the warm-up matches , and was the top scorer of runs during the New Zealand ODIs. Waugh was third on the Test batting averages and restricted Martyn on playing tours against the county teams. Martyn got another shot during the 1993-1994 Australian season after Steve Waugh tore a hamstring and Martyn was a participant during The Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests at the MCG and SCG respectively.

Though he was able to score 59 during the opening innings in a game with low scoring in Sydney however, that was not the case in the subsequent innings that affected his image for years to come. With Australia falling behind while trying to reach the small goal of just 117 in the match to beat South Africa, Martyn had problems scoring. He scored 6 unconvincing from 59 balls over nearly two hours. He as well as Craig McDermott took the total from 8-75 to within a few hundred yards of winning at 8-110. He attempted an airborne drive to cover off Allan Donald and was caught by Allan Donald, and Australia fell in the Test. Martyn was heavily criticized by the media, who blamed him for the loss. Martyn played in three more ODIs the following season, only to be removed following the return of Waugh from an injury. Even though Waugh could have reverted to his role in any event, Martyn lost his position as reserve batsman and was removed from the subsequent national squads completely. Martyn was not able to take part in ODI cricket up to 1997 and test cricket until 2000.

Retirement

Martyn was a participant in the opening 2 Tests in the 2006/07 Ashes series, in which he only scored 45 runs over three innings. He was dismissed for just 5 after an unintentional shot in the run chase of Australia in the first Test match, Martyn’s spot on the side was to the attention of the media, despite having received a number of affirmations from Australia’s team. Australia team, including Mike Hussey and Justin Langer.

Despite his ineptitude, Martyn was widely believed to keep his spot because of Shane Watson’s fitness issues and the possibility that the third test was scheduled to take place at the W.A.C.A. Ground, Martyn’s own home ground. It was a shock on the 8th December 2006, Martyn announced his immediate withdrawal from all domestic and international cricket. In his statement on the announcement, Martyn said: “I would like to advise of my retirement from cricket, effective from today. I do so with a deep awareness of the opportunities that the game and Cricket Australia have provided for me.” Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland insists that Martyn wasn’t forced to do anything and that Martyn was initially set to be included in the team for the third test.

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