Doug Bollinger retires from cricket

Well bowled: Doug Bollinger sends one down for Fairfield Liverpool in November. Picture: Simon Bennett
Well bowled: Doug Bollinger sends one down for Fairfield Liverpool in November. Picture: Simon Bennett

Fairfield Liverpool stalwart Doug Bollinger has called time on a sparkling career that saw him finish as the state’s third most successful fast bowler of all-time.

The 36-year-old, who didn’t play his first game of cricket until he was 15, said his career has been a “great ride” peaking in 2009 when he made his Test debut at the SCG against South Africa in 2009.

His numbers make for impressive reading.

He took 50 wickets in his 12 Tests at an average of 25.92.

For NSW, the left-arm seamer snared 290 scalps at an average of 28.15 to finish behind Geoff Lawson and Mike Whitney as NSW’s third most successful paceman.

After making hist first grade debut for the Lions against Western Suburbs in January 2002, he was fast tracked to the NSW set-up and made his debut later that year.

His 15-year career included 62 one day international wickets at 23.90.

In total he played 12 Tests, 39 one-day internationals and nine T20s in an international career spanning 2009-2014, representing Australia across all three formats and developing into one of the game's great characters.

It meant the Lions only saw glimpses of Dougy in the baggy yellow.

It didn’t stop his effectiveness.

In 102 games he took 236 wickets, taking 67 wickets in 2004/05.

The bowling average trophy at the club is named in his honour.

He was a key component of the Lions’ golden era which saw them win two premierships in 2001/02 and 2005/06.

He also holds the 10th wicket batting record with Ben Rohrer scoring four runs in a 53-run partnership in 2004/05.

Bollinger took 5-61 in his final game for the Lions in November.

Bollinger said to have his first captain for NSW be Steve Waugh was “unbelievable”.

“I played under some great captains and players for NSW and Australia including Steve, Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting,” he said.

“To play for 15 or 16 seasons with the SCG as my home ground has been amazing.

“It’s been a great ride. I met so many wonderful people and achieved the ultimate ambition of playing Test cricket for Australia.

“Now it’s time for the next stage of my life with my wife Tegan and my children Skye and Liam. I couldn’t have achieved everything I have without them.”    

Bollinger will also be remembered for his personality and his changing hairlines.

After losing his hair as a young man he was christened Doug the Rug after undergoing hair replacement work, but in the latter stages of his career he proudly reverted to a clean dome.

Cricket NSW chief executive Andrew Jones said Bollinger was a “larger than life” presence on and off the field.

“Whether it was charging in full throttle for another delivery, celebrating a wicket with unrestrained joy or being the personality of the dressing rooms, he was always imposing himself on the game,” he said.

Tributes from former teammates flooded Twitter on Monday when he called time on his career.

Australian captain Steve Smith described Bollinger as “one of the most skilful bowlers” he had come across while spin king Shane Warne praised his commitment writing: “You gave it everything every day.”