There have been many international cricketers who retired from the game all of a sudden. They dropped no hints before calling it quits. These cricketers often left midway primarily owing to reasons other than cricket. They left the game when they were at the peak of their career. But a few found the will to make a comeback. They didn’t bother about the criticism that might come their way. These cricketers forced their way back into the game.
We look at 5 Cricketers Who Quit But Came Back Again:
#5 Carl Hooper
He was one of the most elegant batting all-rounders the game has ever seen. Carl Hooper was easy on his eyes batsman. He had a languid presence at the crease. Hooper made his debut in 1987. He made an instant impression on the game. Hooper quit the game midway before the 1999 World Cup. He took a brief retirement to spend time with his family. Hooper made a comeback in 2001 even captaining the Windies side in the 2003 World Cup. But continual poor form made him give up the game once and for all.
#4 Brendan Taylor
He was one of the most gifted players to ever represent Zimbabwe. Brendan Taylor made his debut for Zimbabwe in 2004. In what was then a hapless side, Taylor was one of the rare shining lights. His stunning knock against Australia in T20 World Cup 2007 helped them stage a colossal upset.
But owing to challenging financial conditions in Zimbabwe cricket, Taylor announced his retirement post the 2015 World Cup. He signed off scoring a century in his last ODI game. Taylor played county cricket for a couple of seasons. He returned to play for Zimbabwe in 2017 after a two-year hiatus.
#3 Bhanuka Rajapaksa
He was Punjab Kings’ biggest surprise package this season. Bhanuka Rajapaksa smashed 201 runs in 7 games at a decent average of 28.71. But it was his strike rate (166.11) that was mighty impressive. He showed his class going after the bowling right from ball one. But not many might know the fact that he had called quits on his international career earlier this year. The resignation was short-lived as he overturned his application within 10 days of quitting.
#2 Kevin Pietersen
He was one of the biggest cricketing mavericks to have ever represented England. Kevin Pietersen had a colourful England career. He stormed into the international scene in 2005 scoring centuries for fun. Pietersen was one of the lynchpins of England’s 2005 famous Ashes series win. But the 2010 decade was a tumultuous one for Pietersen. He quit in 2012 following the text message scandal only to overturn it soon after. Pietersen finally retired in 2018.
#1 Shahid Afridi
It was not over until it was over. This was the dictum that was associated with Shahid Afridi. The man who made his debut in 1996 kept going until the cricketing fans had enough of him. Afridi was notorious for announcing his retirement and then making a comeback. He first quit in 2011 only to make a comeback in 5 months. But post the disastrous 2015 World Cup, Afridi finally called it quits on his international career.