Peter Siddle is a name most Australian cricket fans associate with the hero that took a resounding hat-trick against England at the Gabba during the 2010-11 Ashes series. However, during this period, unbeknownst to many, Siddle was battling away with his own personal demons behind the scenes – with the cricketing legend celebrating his besting of those demons with a candid post on social media earlier this month.
Posting to his Instagram Story, Siddle – who has practised a vegan and alcohol-free lifestyle since 2012 – acknowledged his delight at reaching the milestone and recognised its significance as the “biggest achievement in [his] life” during a trip to Italy.
“Today marks 11 years sober,” he said.
“This is something I’m very proud of and probably my biggest achievement in life. From where I was to now, I couldn’t be happier!”Peter Siddle
Sids has spoken about his past struggles with alcoholism throughout his successful career, most significantly when sitting down with broadcaster Neroli Meadows on her podcast Ordineroli Speaking in early 2020.
The 38-year-old spoke of his shame at his actions from early on in his international career, going on to describe his behaviour as “disgusting”, and insisting that had he not quit alcohol he would most likely have been “sacked from cricket before I got to 30”. Fortunately, he went on to leave the international setup in 2019 as one of the most respected cricketers in Australia.
“I was doing all right, but the drinking side of things I wasn’t doing all right with that,” Siddle explained on the podcast.
“I was partying too hard, getting out of control. All my relationships that were real close to me, I was just in a way lying to them all. Hiding behind the fact, I was trying to enjoy life to the fullest off the field whilst I was doing that on the field.”Peter Siddle
Sids spoke candidly about the drinking habits and multi-day “benders” that saw him live a “double life” as a cricketer by day and a “party boy” by night.
“I was pretty much a borderline alcoholic in a way. If I said I was a binge drinker it makes it sound better and look better for everyone else. People probably listen to it and go, ‘Oh yeah, but you only had drinks on the weekend’… But sometimes weekends could be three, four, five days in a row.”
Although Siddle explained that he would not pass out while drinking, he stated that there would be periods as long as seven hours that he would have no recollection of. Siddle’s realisation and subsequent decision to change his ways undoubtedly saved his career, and most likely his life too.
Critically, Siddle’s struggles with alcoholism are not a foreign concept to the international cricket space, with several players, including legendary Australia captain Ricky Ponting, the late Andrew Symonds, and England spinner Monty Panesar admitting to wrestling with the disease.
With sports standards and practices evolving daily, the age of the ‘pisshead’ Australian cricketer has been shifting for some time now as present-day Australian sporting officials and athletes fight hard to end the traditional mentality of ‘playing hard and drinking even harder’ that was typical to athletes across not just cricket, but a variety of sporting codes.
Where does Peter Siddle play now?
A former Australian international cricketer, Siddle was often recognised as one of Australia’s most consistent bowlers during his peak years with the side. Since retiring from the international setup in 2019, Siddle has represented his home state Victoria in the Marsh Sheffield Shield, as well as Tasmania, the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League (BBL), Essex, and Somerset in England.
As reported in The Mandurah Mail, despite toying with the idea of retiring from domestic cricket after the most recent summer season, Siddle will finish his domestic career with Victoria after signing a two-year contract that takes the veteran fast bowler back to the beginning of his career. Siddle debuted for Victoria in 2005 and eventually transitioned his form for his home state into a maiden Test cap in 2008.
The tall right-armer represented Victoria throughout a national team career that led to 67 Tests and 20 ODIs.