What’s the story?
New South Wales wicketkeeper-batsman, Ryan Carters, has retired from all forms of competitive cricket with immediate effect in order to pursue his ambitions of philanthropy and education. Carters has expressed his desire to concentrate on the charity named Batting for Change that he founded.
“I'm extremely grateful for the support of Cricket NSW since I started at the Blues in 2013 – it has been a wonderful place to play cricket, " Carters said. “However, I'm now ready to pursue new kinds of challenges.”
In case you didn’t know
Aged just 26, he quit the sport with 2515 first-class runs from 43 matches at an average of 35.72 with 5 centuries. He made his first-class and T20 debut for Victoria in 2010, and his List A debut for Queensland the same year.
Carters has 345 runs from 22 List A games and 319 runs from 30 T20 matches. Incidentally, his first first-class outing was against the touring England side ahead of the Ashes series of 2010-11.
“I've had twin passions in my life since I can remember – cricket and learning,” Carters said. “I'm at the point where, after eight rewarding years of professional cricket, it's time for me to follow the other path I've always felt as strongly about.”
“I've always been conscious that you can't play cricket forever. I'm ready to see if I can find a way to work for social change, for greater fairness in life, away from my sporting pursuits.”
Carters has a Sheffield Shield title to his name and a decent first-class record. However, his greatest achievement has been the establishment for his Batting for Change charity foundation that helps provide education for disadvantaged women in cricket playing countries.
Funds for the charity are raised through donations and fundraisers, as well as through every six that the Sydney Sixers hit in the Big Bash League (BBL). The foundation is also supported by renowned international cricketers including Moises Henriques, Nic Maddinson, Alyssa Healey and Stephen O’Keefe.
Over the course of the past four years, the funds generated by Batting for Change have helped set up schools in Kathmandu, Nepal, and have helped more than 1000 women in India and Sri Lanka get access to University education.
“In Australia, as in many other countries, professional sportspeople have a reach and reputation, an ability to influence, that is far outside the boundaries of their sporting achievements,” Carters said.
“I've never been more grateful for that than when I founded Batting for Change and watched it grow and directly transform the lives of disadvantaged young women in need of higher education.”
While it is the passion to play for their country and the love for the sport that drives cricketers towards playing competitive professional cricket, it is possible that they may have other ambitions to pursue.
Carters isn’t the only one to have taken such a step in recent times. In April, England cricketer Zafar Ansari had announced his retirement from all forms of cricket to pursue a career in law. Aged just 25, Ansari had made his ODI debut in 2015 against Ireland and his Test debut last year in Bangladesh.
Given that cricketers are only humans with a penchant for achieving so much in life, such decisions taken by them, irrespective of their age and the cricketing career that lies ahead of them, must be respected by their teams as well as the fans.