A career in cricket as a professional player has never been a child’s play. With the advancement of the game, there are different sorts of pressure a player has to deal with. One common concern for the most out there is injury. The game has had tales of many stars who had much more to offer, but that didn’t happen.
1. Craig Kieswetter
The Man of the Match in the 2010 T20 World Cup final couldn’t make it big in his career due to a heinous injury. In a match against Somerset in 2014, Kieswetter received a blow on his head that damaged his eye. There was a slight chance of making a comeback before the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup. However, Kieswetter continued having problems with his vision. As a result of this, he announced his retirement at the early age of 27.
2. Saba Karim
Most of those who started following cricket in the last decade know Saba Karim as a Hindi commentator. Saba Karim had a brief career in the Indian national cricket team. He played one test match and 34 One Day Internationals. The career could have been longer if it wasn’t for an injury. In a limited-overs match in 2000 against Bangladesh, the wicket-keeper batsman got a hit on his eye by the ball. In his further attempts to make a comeback, he faced difficulty viewing the ball and thus announced his retirement in the same year.
3. Mark Boucher
Mark Boucher is celebrated as one of the greatest wicket-keepers in the history of cricket. With 555 dismissals, holds the record for the most dismissals in cricket. After his debut in 1997/98, Boucher was a regular in the South African squad. Having kept for legendary bowlers, from Allan Donald to Dale Steyn, Boucher’s career ended on a rather sad note, unfortunately to an injury. In a List A match between South Africa and Somerset, Boucher kept to Leg Spinner Imran Tahir without any glass or protective gear. As Tahir bowled Gemal Hussain, the ball hit in the left eye of Boucher. Mark Boucher was planning to retire after the series but had to take premature retirement post the surgery.
The pacer represented England in 5 test matches and 1 One Day International from 1988 to 1992. While playing in Wellington against New Zealand, he broke his knee cap. The sound was so loud that it reached the audience beyond the boundary, who called it a ‘pistol-like sound’. Lawrence tried to make his comeback through the county, met with another accident, and broke his knee for the second time. Lawrence could never make a comeback and thus retired at the age of 29.
5. Ryan Harris
One of the most highly rated medium bowlers for Australia in the last decade was Ryan Harris. After playing an important role in several series victories, it was certain that Ryan Harris would be a long-term prospect. In mid-2014, an announcement stated that Harris would be out of action for six months due to knee surgery. However, he was never able to make a comeback and announced his retirement the following year. Harris took up a coaching stint post-retirement.
6. Nathan Bracken
Once the world’s number one ranked player, he had to cut short his career at the age of 31 due to an injury in 2009. Bracken, a white ball specialist, was a pivotal character in an Australian squad that was not short of superstars in the 2000s. The go-to death overs bowler did continue to play domestic cricket, although he could never make a comeback again. Nathan Bracken played his last One Day International in September of 2009 against England.
7. Geoff Allott
Allott, with 20 wickets, was the joint highest wicket-taker in the 1999 ICC cricket world cup. The talented left-arm pacer played an important role in taking the Kiwi team to the Semis in that tournament. Geoff Allott had to draw curtains on his professional career early due to a back injury. Allott retired after representing New Zealand in 10 tests and 31 One day internationals.
8. Andrew Flintoff
One of modern-day Cricket’s greatest all-rounders, Andrew Flintoff, had to retire in his early 30s, courtesy of a long-standing knee injury. Flintoff averaged 31 in tests. Besides, with more than 225 wickets, he had become the hottest property in the sport. By playing a pivotal role in the Ashes’ victory, Flintoff had left a mark in world cricket. Flintoff retired from the longest format in 2009 and hoped to return in limited-overs games, but sadly that could never happen.
9. Nari Contractor
Nari Contractor got hit by a Charlie Griffith delivery, which ended up fracturing his skull. Contractor, who was in fine captaincy form, post the series victory over England in 1961, was saved after a couple of surgeries and blood transfusion. Nari Contractor never played International cricket again. Contractor received the C.K. Nayudu Lifetime achievement award in the year 2007.
10. Simon Jones
One of the finds of the English Cricket in early life was 6’3 tall Simon Jones. After making his way through Glamorgan, Jones made a statement after his famous spell of 5-44 at Trent Bridge. In 2006, he sustained a knee injury ahead of the India series, and it stayed with him for long. However, he did show up in the Ashes of 2006 after sustaining a similar injury. He had to stay off cricket for good. Jones did make his return in the domestic circuit and fared well, but continuous knee injuries pushed him out of the scene.