Former Proteas left-arm spinner Peterson, who made his senior first-class debut in the 1998/99 season, announced his retirement from all cricket on Wednesday.
The 37-year-old was still actively involved at the Knights franchise this season after a move from the Cape Cobras, and featured in five Sunfoil Series games. Peterson still grabbed 6/83 against the Dolphins in Durban two weeks ago, and would’ve been a valuable part of the T20 Challenge side.
But the man who played in 15 Tests, 79 ODIs and 21 T20 internationals for the Proteas said that the time was right to quit. “I’m chilled. I’m back in Cape Town, it’s good to be back – ah, yeah man! When I landed here, I just knew it’s the right decision, thank you very much,” Peterson told Independent Media on Wednesday.
“I just decided, that was me. I don’t know… I know players say that some days they just feel that they are not up for it, and I just woke up one morning during a four-day game and I was like ‘No, that’s me. I’m done’. Fielding for a 100 overs, it just seemed like such a long time, and I didn’t want to do that.
“I thought about it (playing in the T20 Challenge), but what’s the point really – let me spend some time with my family. Cricket has been good to me, I have no regrets, I’m not going to regret my decision now. It’s just the right time and I can enjoy my family time. I’m back in Cape Town now, I can spend the summer here… It just felt right man.
“You just know that fine focus that you need to perform, you are just not prepared to put in extra effort in, in terms of preparation time and you just know it’s the time to go. I’m never going to do something and hang around when I know that tomorrow, with all the talent that there is in South Africa, let me rather get out and get some young guy who wants to play for South Africa in my spot. Give him a crack at it.”
Peterson arguably didn’t play as much international cricket as he deserved, having been in and out of the Proteas sides over the years. But he felt that “whatever happened to me, happened to me, and the game has been really good to me.
“I don’t really look at individual performances, and more at the two Test series we won in Australia and the two in England. That’s what I really look back on as fond memories – real camaraderie, the hard work we had put in to win Test matches in those countries, which is extremely difficult to do.
“I always prided myself on doing well at World Cups, as it’s the one event where you can actually express yourself and just be yourself. It’s a one-off, and I just tried to play that way, and it just worked out that way that I had pretty decent World Cups. It will be a highlight, being one of the leading wicket-takers in the 2011 World Cup (with 15).”
The Port Elizabeth native also described his time at the Cape Cobras as “the best decision of my career”, having won a few trophies under former coach Shukri Conrad and more recently Paul Adams.
He won’t be totally lost to the game, though. “I think it’s just getting back to normal life firstly. Cricket, having done it for so long and travelling, you don’t really get a sense of reality. I just want to get myself back into doing normal things – mow the lawn, sort the pool out!” Peterson said.
“But I’ve got a few business ventures that I’m trying to get involved in or trying to kick off, and maybe just try and see how far commentary gets me. I really enjoy it, it keeps you part of the game. Maybe if there is an opportunity to get involved in coaching, I’m going to be studying now too – I’m doing a degree in business administration.
“I don’t have a set plan. Sometimes you just manoeuvre your way through things, and the right thing comes along. I didn’t plan to become a cricketer – I just kind of stumbled on to it. Maybe I will get lucky again!”
Original source: Robbie P’s retirement: I just want to do normal things