Cricketers are constantly evaluated based on their performances and contributions to the team. If a player experiences a prolonged dip in form, struggles to perform consistently, or feels they are not meeting the expectations of themselves or the team, they may decide to retire to make way for younger talents or to step away from the pressure of international competition.
However, it is always difficult to accept that the time has come to say goodbye to their passion and observe things from outside the ground. For any sportsman, it is difficult to accept this fact.
There have been incidents in the past that some valuable cricketers have announced their retirement too soon or without any prior notifications. Here is a list of 5 shocking retirements from international cricket.
1) MS Dhoni
Dhoni was renowned for his captaincy skills and his contributions as a wicketkeeper-batsman in limited-overs cricket. Under his leadership, India achieved numerous milestones, including winning the ICC T20 World Cup in 2007, the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011, and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on August 15, 2020. Dhoni’s retirement came as a surprise to many fans and cricket enthusiasts. Dhoni’s retirement marked the end of an illustrious international career, leaving a lasting impact on Indian cricket.
2) Jacques Kallis
Jacques Kallis is widely regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders in the history of cricket. He represented South Africa in 166 Test matches, 328 One Day Internationals (ODIs), and 25 T20 Internationals (T20Is).
His career spanned 18 years, from 1995 to 2014. Kallis announced his retirement from the Test format first in 2014 and late in the same year he announced his retirement from all the formats of the game. Following his retirement, Kallis remained involved in cricket as a coach and consultant.
3) Kumar Sangakkara
Sangakkara decided to retire from international cricket after a successful career at the age of 37. He expressed his desire to give an opportunity to younger players and felt it was the right time to step away from the game. He represented Sri Lanka in 134 Test matches, 404 One Day Internationals (ODIs), and 56 T20 Internationals (T20Is).
His international career spanned from 2000 to 2015. Sangakkara amassed 12,400 runs in Test cricket at an average of 57.40, including 38 centuries and 52 half-centuries. He holds several records, including the most consecutive centuries in Tests (four) and the most double centuries by a wicketkeeper-batsman in Tests (11).
4) AB de Villiers
AB de Villiers is regarded as one of the most talented and innovative batsmen in the history of cricket. He represented South Africa in 114 Test matches, 228 One Day Internationals (ODIs), and 78 T20 Internationals (T20Is) from 2004 to 2018.
De Villiers’ decision to retire came as a surprise to many fans and cricket enthusiasts. He cited fatigue and a desire to spend more time with his family as the primary reasons for his retirement. De Villiers expressed that he had no intention of playing international cricket again.
5) Sir Alastair Cook
Cook captained the England Test team from 2010 to 2016. Under his leadership, England achieved notable successes, including Ashes victories in 2013 and 2015. He was the youngest Englishman to reach 10,000 Test runs and the first to score 10,000 as an opener.
Cook announced his retirement after the 2018 Test series against India. He expressed that it felt like the right time to step away from international cricket and make way for the next generation of players. Cook’s retirement decision came as a surprise to many, given his relatively young age of 33 at the time.