Photo Credit: Cricket Tasmania
Alex Doolan has called time on what will be remembered as an impressive first-class career spanning 12 seasons.
A stylish right-hander, Doolan made his first-class debut against New South Wales in Newcastle in January 2009, in a career that would go on to span 105 appearances at the first-class level for Tasmania. After notching up his 100th first-class appearance for Tasmania in the 2019-20 season, Doolan became just the eighth man to reach this milestone for Tasmania, joining an elite club that includes names like Jamie Cox, Michael Di Venuto, George Bailey, Dan Marsh and Ricky Ponting.
His first first-class century came in the 2009-10 season – the year following his debut season – when he notched 135 off 212 balls in Tasmania’s tense one-wicket win over Western Australia in Hobart. He went on to make a total of 11 first-class centuries, and also surpassed the half century milestone on 30 occasions.
Doolan tallied a total of 642 runs that breakout season, followed by 554, 415 and 715 in the respective three seasons to follow. His exceptional form with the bat had him in many conversations around national honours, talk which only grew louder when he made an unbeaten 161 for Australia A at the SCG against South Africa in 2012.
He eventually did earn his Test call up in 2014, debuting against the Proteas in Centurion, making 89 runs in the second innings, contributing to Australia’s 281-run win. Doolan went on to wear the baggy green four times in total – all in 2014 – making a total of 191 Test runs at an average of 23.87.
In retirement, Doolan also bows out as Tasmania’s eighth highest run-scorer in Sheffield Shield cricket, with 5,978 runs to his name at an average of 32.84. His highest score – an unbeaten 247 – came in a memorable draw against Victoria at the MCG in November 2017.
His limited over cricket career achievements should also not be overlooked, with Doolan representing Tasmania in 31 matches across various iterations of the domestic One-Day Cup. He made a total of 997 runs at an average of 38.34 between 2010 and 2019.
At the T20 level, Doolan played five seasons of the KFC Big Bash League for both the Melbourne Renegades (BBL|02 to BBL|04) and the Hobart Hurricanes, and was also signed to the Brisbane Heat for BBL|05. In total he played 24 matches across five seasons, amassing 393 runs at a strike rate of 109.78.
Always a keen contributor at the Premier Cricket level when his schedule allowed, Doolan made an impressive 793 runs across 14 innings for the South Hobart-Sandy Bay Sharks in his final season playing at the highest level, earning him the league’s highest individual honour; the Rodwell Medal. This made Doolan just the eighth player to win the Rodwell Medal on multiple occasions; 13 years after his first in 2007-08.
“It wasn’t tough at all really,” Doolan said of making the decision to retire. “I had two weeks off over Christmas while the Big Bash was going on, and it was just a bit too good to refuse, so I made the call then and I’ve been very comfortable with it ever since.”
“I’ve probably come into the last three or four seasons thinking maybe [it will be my last] you just never know…” Doolan continued. “But selection definitely didn’t sway it [the decision] at all. Once you’ve reached over 30 and you’re no longer in the frame to play at the highest level you’re always on borrowed time a little bit. I thought I was contributing really well to the team but the team has also progressed to a point now where there are a lot of young guys coming through, filling those spaces and looking to take the next step as well, so you can’t play forever, and sometimes it’s just time to get out of the way and let the next crop come through.”
Cricket Tasmania would like to thank Alex for the incredible contribution he has made to both Tasmanian and Australian cricket over the past 12 seasons. His achievements will be formally acknowledged at next Friday’s Cricket Tasmania Awards Night.