Former Australia all-rounder John Hastings will stop playing cricket indefinitely to battle a medical condition that causes his lungs to bleed every time he bowls and could potentially kill him, the 32-year-old said on Friday.
Hastings, who signed for the Sydney Sixers in May but will not play in the Big Bash League this season, said he had endured a difficult period over the last few months as doctors were still unable to diagnose the problem.
“Every time I’ve been trying to gear up and get ready to bowl, I’ve been coughing up blood. I won’t be able to bowl this year or probably moving forward unless this situation gets sorted out,” Hastings told RSN’s the Breakfast Club.
“It’s just something that they can’t say, ‘look, you’re not going to have a fatal bleed on the field’ or it’s not going to cause long-term damage… at this stage, unless something miraculous happens, I won’t be able to bowl.”
Hastings played one test match, 29 one-day internationals and nine Twenty20 matches for Australia before his retirement from international cricket in 2017.
The all-rounder said the condition, which first surfaced years ago but worsened this year, had left him shattered as it did not affect him during activities like boxing and rowing.
“I’ve come to terms with it now, but over the last four or five months it’s been a very tough period,” Hastings added.
“I’ve played this game my whole life and I wanted to keep playing it. I wanted to play tournaments all around the world.
“That’s one of the reasons I retired early from one-day and four-day cricket. To see it maybe slipping away, it’s tough to take.”