Melbourne - Australian fast bowler John Hastings has retired from all forms of cricket fearing a mystery ailment could lead him to bleed to death on the field.
The burly all-rounder, who has represented his country in all three formats of the game, revealed last month he was struggling with an illness that causes him to cough up blood whenever he bowls.
He first noticed the issue several years ago and despite a battery of tests and operations is no closer to knowing why it happens.
"It's (only) when I bowl. The pressure at the crease, little blood vessels in my lungs burst," he told The Age newspaper in Melbourne on Wednesday.
"That determines that I cough up blood on a regular basis when I'm trying to bowl. It's a really scary thing."
The 33-year-old, who was planning to play in Australia's Twenty20 Big Bash League next month, said he was otherwise healthy.
His decision to pull the pin came after doctors were unable to reassure him that he wouldn't bleed to death on the cricket pitch.
"I'm training now. Lifting weights or boxing it doesn't happen. It's really only the pressure of the actual landing of bowling," he said.
"There was just a lot of grey area surrounding long-term health, whether it was causing any damage, and if there was any potential to have a fatal bleed on the field.
"They just really couldn't say yes or no. And I wasn't happy with that."
Hastings, who played one Test, nine T20s and 29 one-day internationals, had been keen to continue his career and cash in on the lucrative T20 circuit.
"I would have loved a Big Bash title. That would have been unbelievable because I think it's an amazing competition," he said, adding that he would now pursue a media career and open a cafe in Melbourne.