Retirement is difficult. Even the most accomplished professionals have difficulty deciding whether or not to retire, especially since they have poured their hearts and souls into the game. It often gets claimed that quitting despite being capable of performing rather than carrying the team’s burden on your shoulders is better when you have become a burden to them. Another facet of the game that every player has to experience is retirement. A majority of the finest players quit at the age of 38 after amassing a large number of records. Deciding when and how to declare their retirement is challenging for a player.
Interestingly, many cricketers have resigned at a very young age in the past. It is sometimes the age at which most cricketers reach their full potential. Let’s look at ten such cricketers who retired at a young age.
1. Craig Kieswetter
Craig Kieswetter, a swashbuckling wicketkeeper- cum-batsman, grew into prominence when he played a crucial role in England’s victory at the ICC World T20 2010 in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, his journey was cut short in July 2014 after being hit in the eye while batting in a county match. He had undergone operations and attempted a return during a domestic T20 event in South Africa but had to retire at 27 in June 2015.
2. Omari Banks
Omari Banks, born on the Caribbean island of Anguilla to a well-known reggae artist, took up cricket and played county cricket before joining the West Indies. He last played international cricket in 2005. Banks chose to follow his heart and pursue a career in music in 2012 when he was 29 years old.
3. Tatenda Taibu
Tatenda Taibu regarded Andy Flower’s worthy replacement, but his batting career never took off. In both formats, he averaged around 30. Between 2001 and 2012, Taibu was Zimbabwe’s representative. He debuted on the world stage at the age of 18 and resigned at 28.
4. James Taylor
After being identified with a significant cardiac disease, Taylor gets forced to quit all forms of cricket in April 2016. He discovered ARVC, which he shared with player Fabrice Muamba. Taylor had been in excellent condition for England in limited-overs cricket the previous year. He scored a century and averaged 42 in ODI cricket when he got forced to retire. At the age of 21, James began his international career in 2011. He had played his last game for England at the age of 26.
5. Zafar Ansari
At 25, England’s all-rounder Zafar Ansari, who also played for Surrey, declared his resignation. The teenager indicated that he had plans outside cricket when he announced his unexpected retirement. Ansari had only played in one ODI and three Tests for his country. Therefore, he did not make a significant contribution to England.
6. Beau Casson
Beau Casson, a New South Wales chinaman bowler, was called up to the Test squad for the West Indies tour, making his debut in Barbados. His only appearance at the highest level was in that Test. Casson’s primary heart condition, Tetralogy of Fallot, was discovered while still playing cricket. He underwent surgery in 2010 and returned to play a few months later. He decided to retire at the age of 28. He now works for the Sydney Thunder as an assistant coach.
7. Robbie Hart
Robbie Hart played 11 Tests and two One Day Internationals (ODIs) for New Zealand in 2002 and 2003. Hart’s time at the top was brief, as he retired in 2004 at the age of 29 to pursue a different career. However, he remained connected to cricket as a New Zealand Player’s Association member and a board member of New Zealand Cricket.
8. Aaqib Javed
Aaqib Javed represented Pakistan from 1988 until 1998. After making his debut at the young age of 16, the fast bowler retired at the tender age of 26. He played 22 Tests and 163 ODIs throughout that time, taking 54 and 182 wickets, respectively. Despite not being convicted guilty, the match-fixing scandal in the 1990s effectively destroyed his career.
9. Henry Olonga
Henry Olonga, who played his final international match for Zimbabwe at the age of 26, is the ninth player in our list of cricketers who retired early. He was Zimbabwe’s first black cricketer and the country’s youngest cricketer at the time. He appeared in 30 Tests and 50 One Day Internationals, taking 68 and 58 wickets in the two formats.
10. Pragyan Ojha
At 27, he was perhaps unfortunate to drop from the Indian cricket team. Pragyan Ojha has a fantastic Test match record in terms of the wickets and economy rate. He has 113 wickets at an economy rate of 2.68 in just 24 games. Because of his bowling average of 30 and the dominance of both Ashwin and Jadeja, he could not get in.