Unretired: 5 players who have come out of retirement

There comes a time in every cricketer’s life when he or she feels it’s time to call time on their career. Most cricketers arrive at the decision after contemplating for a long time and bid adieu to the game happily. However, there have been some players in the history of the game, who have felt like there is more cricket left in them even after their retirement and hence returned to the field all over again. Numerous players have surprised the cricketing fraternity with their return to the field to play the game they love all over again. On that note, let’s take a look at five prominent cricketers who came out of their retirement:

5. Kevin Pietersen

Pietersen is arguably the most flamboyant batter to ever play for England. However, in 2011, he announced his retirement from white-ball cricket due to issues with ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and coach Peter Moores. However, a few months later he made a U-turn on his decision and played all three formats for his country.

4. Imran Khan

The legendary Pakistan all-rounder first called time on his career in 1987. However, following a request from Pakistan’s President, Zia Ul Haq. he made a comeback in the year 1992, at the age of 39. The former Pakistan captain made a comeback for the ages as he etched his name in the history books by leading Pakistan to their first and only ODI World Cup victory to date in 1992.

3. Ambati Rayudu

Ambati Rayudu is considered one of the most underrated players in Indian cricket history. The 37-year-old boasts a staggering average of 47 in ODI cricket. Rayudu had announced his retirement from all forms of cricket following his snub from the Indian team for the ODI World Cup 2019. However, he changed his decision and came back to play in the IPL. He once again announced his retirement during IPL 2022 but deleted the Tweet a few minutes later.

The Andhra Pradesh-born batter bid the final goodbye to cricket following CSK’s record-levelling fifth IPL triumph in 2023. Rayudu retired with six IPL trophies to his name.

2. Moeen Ali

The latest addition to the list of players coming out of retirement is England’s star allrounder, Moeen Ali. The 35-year-old announced his retirement from Test cricket in September 2021. However, he has made a return to the longest format of the game after left-arm spinner Jack Leach got injured ahead of the Ashes 2023.

1. Shahid Afridi

No other player in the history of the game has a love affair with retirement like Shahid Afridi. The veteran allrounder holds the unique record of retiring most number of times in his career. Afridi first retired from the Tests in 2006 to focus on ODI cricket but made a U-turn on his decision two weeks later.

Afridi’s second retirement came in 2011 right after the ODI World Cup after he was sacked from the captaincy. However, he once again reconsidered his decision and came out of retirement five months later. Finally, in 2017, he retired from all forms of cricket and was never seen donning the international colours again.