Surprising retirements: Five cricketers who retired early from international cricket

AB de Villiers

The decision to retire is a very important one for any sportsman. And, many legendary names in the world of cricket have seldom got it right. While some hung on way past their prime, some cricketers left the international stage way too early. In this article, let us take a look at 5 cricketers who retired early from international cricket.

5) Jonathan Trott

Jonathan Trott was a major asset for the England side, particularly in the Test format. He occupied the pivotal No.3 slot for his country and excelled with the willow. Trott played 52 Test matches for his side in the whites and scored 3835 runs at an average of 44.08. Even in the ODI format of the game, he scored 2819 runs at an excellent average of 51.25.

However, the right-hander announced his retirement at the age of 34, as he was battling stress and mental health issues. And surely, he had more cricket left in him.

4) Sir Alastair Cook

Sir Alastair Cook announced his retirement from international cricket at the age of 33. He was already a legend by then, and had accumulated a whopping 12472 runs in Test match cricket and had featured in 161 Test matches. Cook left the international arena in style, by scoring a sensational 147 in his final Test innings against India.

Cook is to date, the only England batsman to have scored more than 10000 runs in Tests. The left-hander also played 92 ODIs for England and scored 3204 runs at an average of 36.41. Cook could have offered more to England cricket, but he decided to walk away from the sport quite early.

3) Brendon McCullum

Brendon McCullum was a batsman who could destroy any bowling attack. He was an integral part of the New Zealand batting line-up for more than a decade. He played 101 Tests, 260 ODIs and 71 T20Is for his country. While the belligerent right-hander scored 6453 runs in Test cricket, he plundered 6083 runs in the ODI format of the game. In T20I cricket too, McCullum scored 2140 runs.

But then, the New Zealand wicketkeeper walked away from the game at the age of 34. He surely had more gas left in the tank, but the Kiwi legend decided to put a full stop to his career.

2) Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith will qualify as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of South African cricket. The batting colossus featured in 117 Tests, 197 ODIs and 33 T20Is for the Proteas. While he scored 9265 runs in Tests, he amassed close to 7000 runs in the ODI format of the game. Smith also scored 982 runs in T20I cricket. But more than that, he was a leader par excellence. However, what surely surprised fans was the timing of his retirement. He was just 33 but pulled the curtains down on his career.

1) AB de Villiers

An extremely high-profile retirement that has been talked about in recent times is that of the legendary AB de Villiers. The South African cricketer announced just a few months before the 2019 World Cup that he was hanging up his boots. He later reversed the decision and stated that he was available, but South Africa were not willing to take him back to the side.

In fact, a lot of back-and-forth discussions were going on between AB de Villiers and the South African cricket board, but the batting Genius has not played for South Africa since 2018. ABD, as he is fondly called, has represented South Africa in 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20Is. While he scored 8765 runs in the whites, he also hammered 9577 runs in the ODI format of the game. In both Tests and ODIs, de Villiers averaged above 50.

In T20I cricket too, de Villiers scored 1672 runs at a strike rate of 135.17. Surely, de Villiers’ loss is a massive one for South Africa and he left the international arena too soon.