Hindsight is often much clearer than foresight, so it may be a little late for former Test Opener Ed Cowan to announce his retirement, but announce it he did, soon after making just 11 runs for the Blues in a loss to Victoria in recent Sheffield Shield play.
The 2017 – 2018 season has not been kind to the 35-year-old left-hander from Sydney. He has not hit a ton in any of his outings this season and he seems to be of the opinion that his skills have fallen off the cliff, since it appeared that he had a chance of making a return to the Test Arena last year after he secured the Steve Waugh medal as the best player on the New South Wales XI.
Cowan last played Test in 2013, appearing in a total of 18, but his Sheffield Shield play this season, six matches in all, has returned an average of just 34.70.
He made his bones in Tasmania and went on to become the 427th player to reach the Test level. He made his international debut back in 2011, when he slugged 68 against India in a Boxing Day appearance.
He did a 180-degree turnabout in his last Test appearance, out for naught to record a golden duck in the first Ashes Test in 2013. He concluded with an average of 31.28, certainly not disreputable, but far from Steve Smith regions.
In his 18 Test matches, he recorded a century just one time when he smashed 136 against the South African Proteas at the Gabba in 2012, but his small scores in Tests against Sri Lanka and India eventually proved to be his undoing, as selectors could no longer grant Cowan the patience to carry on.
Cowan leaves the game with an entirely credible, if not spectacular, record as his legacy. His high point as a batsman in First Class play came in 2009, when he recorded a double ton total of 225 for the Tasmanian Tigers against the Southern Redbacks in Hobart.