When compared to football and tennis, cricket is a sport that is kinder to players in their 30s. However, the gradual decline of hand-eye skills and fitness means that all cricketers, especially fast bowlers, struggle with deciding when to move on from the game.
This trend has been seen even in legends of the game like Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, who were well past their primes when they chose to walk away from the sport that had given them so much. But some lucky players have had the good fortune to hang up their boots with their head held high.
As they say, it's better for a cricketer to be asked why he retired rather than when he will retire. In this article, we take a look at 5 legendary cricketers who retired when they were in their prime.
#5 Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum is one of the greatest players and leaders New Zealand has ever produced. The explosive batsman retired from all forms of international cricket in 2016, just one year after taking his country to the final of the 2015 World Cup.
In cricket's biggest tournament, McCullum was at his imperious best, including a stunning 77 off 25 against England. Although his team fell at the final hurdle to neighbours Australia, the former Kiwi captain seemed to be far from done.
However, he announced that he would be retiring at the end of the summer, much to the shock of cricket fans across the world. In his final Test against Australia at Christchurch, McCullum scored the fastest-ever Test hundred off just 54 balls en route to a 79-ball 145 in the first innings. He also claimed the record for the most sixes in the longest format of the game.
After retiring from international cricket, McCullum played in various T20 franchise leagues, such as the Indian Premier League (IPL) with the Gujarat Lions. He bid adieu to the game altogether after 2019's GT20 Canada and now plies his trade as the coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL.