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4 Cricketers who got a fairytale farewell

Cook after his final Test innings
Cook after his final Test innings

Alastair Cook bid adieu to International cricket in what turned out to be a fairytale ending to a magnificent career in front of a raucous Oval crowd that had gathered in huge numbers throughout the five days.

Cook finished his Test career as the leading run scorer for England and registered his name as one of the few cricketers to score a ton in his final Test innings. Fittingly Cook ended his career on a high as England completed a 4-1 series win over India with Anderson pipping Glenn McGrath to become the leading fast bowler in the history of Test cricket and both players sharing an emotional moment as curtains drew on an illustrious 161-match career.

Over a period of time, we have seen superstars who fittingly got a fairytale send-off, leaving the fans across the cricketing landscape in tears underlining the emotional aspect of the game.

Also Read:- Superstar retirements that left the cricket world in shock

On that note, Here's a look at the Superstars who got a fairytale farewell-

#4 Nasser Hussain vs New Zealand, Lord's, 2004

One of the few cricketers to score a century in their last Test innings
One of the few cricketers to score a century in their last Test innings

After four years of tenacious leadership and the surge of young and dynamic cricketers in the dressing room, England's elder statesman was increasingly looking out of place in the summer of 2004.

Matters came to a head at Lord's when he managed to deny debutant Andrew Strauss his maiden hundred with a catastrophic yet familiar run-out in England's pursuit of 282 against the Kiwis.

Hussain, in a typically bloodyminded and dodged fashion, took the matters in his own hands and knuckled down to seal the deal for his country with a blazing cover drive first to reach his hundred and an encore of the very next ball to hit the winning runs and bow out of Test cricket in scintillating fashion.

Also Read:- The Debutants Test XI of 2000s

#3 Muttiah Muralitharan vs India, Galle, 2010

Muralitharan being carried on the shoulders by the Sri Lankan team
Muralitharan being carried on the shoulders by the Sri Lankan team

Muralitharan, Sri Lanka's champion spinner went into his farewell Test requiring eight more scalps to scale Mount 800, a feat difficult for even of the caliber of the great man himself.

It looked even more difficult when an entire second day's play was rained out with Sri Lanka in the midst of a hefty first innings total of dec 8-520. But on a ground where Murali had scalped 13 wickets in 14 matches, the magician weaved his magic one last time as a first innings five-wicket-haul helped to skittle India out for a poultry 276.

Having asked for follow-on Murali started slowly in the second innings before quick dismissals of Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh brought the tally to 799. The crowd got into the act, rallying behind their champion for one final heist. They had to wait for 23 overs though as a typically tenacious VVS Laxman stuck around with the tail to give India a slender lead.

The opportunity arrived when Laxman was run-out it all came down to the final opportunity. After nearly two run-out chances of his own bowling, Ojha finally edged the ball to slip to secure a heist that would never be matched.

#2 Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, and Justin Langer, vs England, Sydney, 2007

The trio pose after 5-0 Ashes win
The trio pose after 5-0 Ashes win

The trio of Australian legends McGrath, Warne, and Justin Lane decided to retire on the same day in 1985; and they did so in some fashion.

After securing the earn at Perth, Shane Warne was the first to start the exodus of legends after he confirmed his retirement on the eve of the Boxing day Test at the MCG, where he wrote his own fairytale script with a first innings five-wicket-haul to set-up a 4-0 scoreline.

Glenn McGrath joined suit and when Justin Langer decided that he too had seen enough, a 5-0 scoreline looked imminent.

Each of the players had their own fairytale moment; Warne surpassed Mount 700 to become the then highest wicket-taker in the history of Test cricket; Glenn McGrath claimed a wicket (ironically Jamie Anderson, who surpassed his wicket-tally yesterday) of the last ball of his career and Justin Langer remained unbeaten in his final innings in Australia's 10-wicket win at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

#1 Sachin Tendulkar vs West Indies, Mumbai, 2013

An emotional moment as Tendulkar kisses the pitch after his farewell match
An emotional moment as Tendulkar kisses the pitch after his farewell match

November 14, 2013- the day when India's favorite son, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar bid adieu to International cricket after 24 years of dominating this beautiful game.

The whole of Mumbai, in-fact the whole of India had come to a standstill in anticipation of one last hurray from their hero.

Tendulkar, in his final innings, playing in front of his mom for the first time in his career rolled back the years with some exquisite on-drives and back punches before eventually holing out to Deonarine for 74.

With the Windies losing eight wickets in the second-innings in yet another insipid display of batting, MS Dhoni brought Tendulkar into the attack for a possible fairytale ending

India eventually rolled over the Windies by an innings & 126 runs after two wicketless overs from Tendulkar with Shami flattening the middle-stump of Shannon Gabriel. A visibly emotional Tendulkar kissed the pitch for one last time and walked off the field to a fluid guard of honor from his teammates soaking in the loud cheers from a raucous Wankhede crowd.

Tendulkar brought an end to his 24-year-old career with an emotional speech talking at length about his journey and the people involved at various stages of his career and walked away with raucous roars of 'Sachin Sachin' for one last time.

Sachin's retirement speech

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Edited by Prasanna Waikar
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