Retirement is an inevitable part of life and 2022 saw some of the biggest names in the world of cricket calling time on their professional careers. From England’s world cup winning captain Eoin Morgan to New Zealand legend Ross Taylor, some of the cricketing giants said goodbye to international cricket in 2022 and for different reasons.
Here’s a look at some of the big names who bid adieu to cricket this year
West Indies’ ‘Big Man’ and world’s one of the greatest all-rounders to feature in the shortest format of the game, Kieron Pollard announced his international retirement in April 2022. He hung his boots when he was leading the national side.
Pollard entered the international arena in 2007 against South Africa at St. George. Since then, he played 224 matches at the international level and scored a combined 4275 runs with the help of three centuries and 19 half-centuries. The allrounder was decent with the ball as well as he scalped 97 wickets in his career, including one four-wicket haul. He never played Test cricket though.
He was also a significant part of Mumbai Indians in Indian Premier League but this year he announced retirement from the league as well but will remain associated with the franchise as a coach.
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Ross Taylor, one of the finest batters to have played for New Zealand, announced his retirement from international cricket on 4 April 2022 after representing his nation for 16 years. Against the Netherlands in Hamilton, he played his final match of a storied international career.
He had an impressive career, becoming the first New Zealand batter to have played 100 matches in each format. He registered his name in history books by representing his nation in 450 matches - a record for most international appearances for a Kiwi.
After making his debut in 2006, he became the go-to-batter for them. In 450 matches of his career, he scored 18,199 runs, including 40 centuries and 93 half-centuries. He was part of the 2019 World Cup final as well which New Zealand lost in a tragic fashion. However, in 2021, he became won the inaugural ICC World Test Championship with them as they beat India in the final.
Eoin Morgan has left an indelible mark on English cricket. In 2019, he became the first ever English captain to win an ODI World Cup title and but announced a surprise retirement from all forms in June, ending as the team’s leading run-scorer in ODIs.
Before playing for England, Morgan represented Ireland. He then captained England in 126 ODI matches, winning 76, leading to a win percentage of 65.25.
Apart from ODIs, he was also a significant batter in T20Is, scoring 2,458 runs with 14 fifties at a strike rate of over 136. He is credited as England’s most successful captain in the shortest format of the game, winning 42 out of 72.
“When I wore the Maroon Colours of the West Indies Cricket for the first time on debut in ODIs on December 7th, 2006, little did I know that my international career would have lasted 16 years but my passion and love for the sport fuelled me every day," Wrote Lendl Simmons in his farewell message on Twitter.
He represented West Indies in 144 international matches - 68 ODIs and T20Is, making 1,958 runs and 1,527 runs, respectively.
Who can forget his terrific unbeaten 82-run knock against India that landed the Caribbean side a place the 2016 T20 World Cup final which they eventually won. However, he was last seen donning the West Indies jersey in 2021 T20 World Cup against South Africa. Simmons plans to play league cricket as long as his body permits.
Pakistan cricket will always remain grateful to allrounder Mohammad Hafeez. He is one of the most impactful players to have played for Pakistan with a career spanning 18 years. Hafeez made his debut in 2003 and represented the country in 392 matches across formats. He was last seen in the green jersey while playing against Australia in the 2021 T20 World Cup semi-final.
He had stepped down from Test cricket in 2018, and did not play an ODI after 2019. Combining all three formats, he scored around 13,000 and scalped 253 wickets. It is to be noted that Hafeez is only one of the three Pakistan allrounders who have scored over 6,000 ODI runs and picked up more than 100 wickets.
Other Notable Retirements
South Africa’s Chris Morris, England’s Tim Bresnan, Sri Lanka’s Suranga Lakmal, New Zealand’s Hamish Bennett, West Indies’ Denesh Ramdin, Ireland’s Kevin O’ Brien and India’s Robin Uthappa are also some of the prominent cricketers who announced their retirement after contributing significantly to their nation’s cricket.
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Apart from men’s cricket, women’s cricket also saw some significant retirements with the likes of Rachael Haynes, Jhulan Goswami, Mithali Raj, Katey Martin, Amy Satterthwaite and many more.
40 year old Mithali Raj retired as one of the world’s greatest of the game. She played 333 international games (12 Test, 232 ODI, and 89 T20I) and scored over 10,000 runs.
On the other hand, veteran Jhulan Goswami received a warm farewell at the world’s most iconic ground – the Lords, home of cricket. She retired on 24th September after playing 284 international games in which she took 355 wickets. Goswami is a role model for many across the world and Indian women’s cricket will always be indebted to her.
And then there was the stunning retirement of Ben Stokes from the ODI format which sparked a huge debate on the workload and the significance of 50-over cricket in the new age where franchise-based T20 cricket continues to gain prominence.
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