A veteran of 69 first-class fixtures, Mennie has made the decision with his family at the forefront, with his two young children currently on the other side of the world in the United Kingdom.
The eighth-highest first-class wicket-taker (256) in South Australian history, Mennie’s name is etched into the state’s 150-year journey forevermore, sitting behind only the likes of Clarrie Grimmett, Ashley Mallett, Chadd Sayers and Tim May. A true great of the state, Mennie is a two-time Neil Dansie Medallist, claiming the honour in 2015/16 and 2017/18.
A master in the art of persistent line and length, Mennie formed a formidable partnership with Sayers throughout his time in red, with the duo a driving force behind the Redbacks consecutive Sheffield Shield Finals appearances in 15/16 and 16/17.
Mennie thanked the Redbacks for their support over the years, while pointing towards the most important aspect of his life.
‘I am extremely grateful towards the Redbacks for backing me across the journey, in particular through a difficult period across last season and into this season. To have two young children is an incredible joy, and I need to be as close to them as possible.
‘They are, and will always be, the most important part of my life, and I can’t wait to get back to the UK and see them again. My journey with SACA has been a long and enjoyable one, but the time has come for me to move into the next phase of my life, and I am excited to do that with those closest to me.
‘Thank you to everyone who has played a role in my time as a Redback, it is something I appreciate and do not take for granted.’
A relentlessly attacking bowler, Mennie’s finest season came in 2015/16, when he claimed a remarkable 51 wickets from 11 fixtures, the third best return in a Shield season from a South Australian bowler. Mennie bowled 2579 deliveries that season, finishing with an average of 21.21 and an economy rate of just 2.51.
That incredible season earned Mennie a call-up to the Australian Test team, where he made his debut against South Africa at Blundstone Arena. Fellow quick Ben Hilfenhaus presented Mennie with baggy green number 446 ahead of the match, with Mennie claiming the wicket of Temba Bavuma during the visitor’s solo dig with the bat.
Mennie also took to the international stage in One Day cricket, facing off against South Africa in multiple fixtures in 2016, returning best figures of 3/49 on 12 October in Capetown. Mennie hit the stumps twice that day, with stars Hashim Amla, Faf du Plessis and JP Duminy all on his list of victims.
When asked his thoughts on the tireless quick, Redbacks Head Coach Jason Gillespie spoke with pride and respect.
‘When looking at the numbers, it is clear that Joe is one of the greatest bowlers the Redbacks have seen; but Joe’s impact on this great state goes well beyond the numbers. He is a true professional, always willing to put the team first, and someone that we will greatly miss.
‘Not only has Joe represented South Australia, he also has a prized baggy green cap resting beside his baggy red, and that is something that he will be able to treasure forever. Something that he earned through dedication, hard-work, commitment and passion.
‘We thank Joe for every delivery he bowled as a Redback and his willingness to get stuck into the task at hand every day. We wish him and his loved ones well. He will always be welcome at Adelaide Oval.’
The South Australian Cricket Association would like to thank Joe for everything he has done to add to our proud cricketing history. His name will rest in its rightful place on the Adelaide Oval honour boards, and we are delighted that Joe called Adelaide home for more than ten years.
23 October 2021