SYDNEY: Mike Hussey says he is relieved his Test career is over after a fairytale finish, steering Australia to a clean-sweep series victory over Sri Lanka in Sydney on Sunday.
The 37-year-old left-hander was at the crease when the winning run was hit by batting partner Mitchell Johnson to clinch a five-wicket win over the Sri Lankans and script the perfect ending for his 79-Test career.
“What a place to finish. The SCG is probably my top three favourite grounds in the whole world,” Hussey said.
“The crowd support and the support in general has been a bit overwhelming and I've been a bit embarrassed by it.
“In a way I'm quite relieved that it's over now. The stress and pressure, I can relax away from it now. I don't have that sick feeling in my stomach before I go out to bat.
“I feel like the pressure is off and I feel very proud to be able to finish in Australia and here at the SCG.”
The popular West Australian, who only made his Test debut at the late age of 30 back in 2005, finished as the highest scorer above Ricky Ponting in Australia-Sri Lanka Tests with 994 runs at 110.44 in eight Tests.
Hussey was adoringly feted by the Sydney crowds throughout the final Test and unselfishly offered a reluctant Johnson the chance to hit the winning run.
“I was telling Mitch (Johnson) the over before, if it comes up that you hit it then I'm more than happy to let us get this over and done with,” he said.
“I was more than happy to be out there when the winning run was hit. A dream come true. The important thing was making sure we won the Test match.”
Hussey said the realisation of having played his last Test match had sunk in and he was looking forward to living a 'normal life' with his young family.
“It probably sunk in a while ago because I have known for quite a period of time of when I wanted to finish. I've been prepared for it, I guess,” he said.
“But I'm sure there's going to be aspects that I'm going to miss as well, like when I'm out there when the winning runs are hit in a Test match, helping Australia win a series, or being in the dressing room with the boys after the game, singing the team song.
“But all good things have to come to an end at some stage.”
Hussey said he had nominated spin bowler Nathan Lyon as his replacement to lead the celebratory team song after Test wins.
“I've picked Nathan (Lyon) because I think he is a man of great character. I think he plays the game for the right reasons,” he said.
“I think he understands and respects the fabric of the Baggy Green cap and that's what I want to come through from him when he leads the team song in the future.”
Hussey said he was looking forward to the next phase of his life with his family post-cricket.
“I certainly owe them a bit and they've been fantastic support over a long period of time, we're probably away for up to eight to ten months of the year and it's a big stress on family life,” he said.
“It's also hard on the players being away for that long. I am looking forward to having a bit more of a normal life as such.”
Hussey finished his distinguished Test career with 6,235 runs at 51.52 with 19 hundreds.
“It couldn't have ended any better,” Hussey said. “I feel very proud to have worn the Baggy Green cap and I've probably achieved a lot more in my career than I ever dreamed I could.
“I feel very fortunate and the game has given me so much.”