Peter Siddle will forever be remebered for a famous Ashes birthday hat-trick, but the former Australian quick has revealed his ongoing trauma over that anniversary.
The Victorian fast bowler, who retired in December from international cricket, said the death of Australian teammate Phillip Hughes still loomed large almost six years on.
The left-hander was hit on the helmet on November 25, 2014, while batting for South Australia in a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG.
The 26-Test batsman died two days later in a Sydney hospital, aged 25, shocking the sporting world.
Despite being celebrated for tearing England apart at the Gabba in 2010 on his 26th birthday, Siddle said Hughes' death overshadowed everything else.
“The day he got hit was actually on my birthday,” Siddle told the Ordineroli Speaking podcast with Neroli Meadows.
“Birthdays are never a good time of the year for me, as much as everyone always talks about the birthday hat-trick.
“It doesn't even register that much with me anymore just for the sheer fact that birthdays are a bad time of the year for me.
“It's fair to say birthdays are pretty insignificant to me these days.
“There's only one present I'd like and that would be that day (Hughes was hit) never happened.”
Siddle was ‘borderline alcoholic’
In a wide-ranging interview, Siddle also opened about wild partying early in his career that almost cost him his Australian contract, and his relationship with now wife Anna.
The 67-Test quick said he was a "borderline alcoholic", downing up to "25, 30 drinks" in a session, before giving up drinking and becoming a vegan.
"People judged me a lot about the change: 'It will ruin your career; you won't be able to play'... but as it turned out, more than half my career playing for Australia I've been a non-drinking vegan," Siddle said.