5 international cricketers who did not get the farewell they deserved
Virender Sehwag has recently announced his retirement from international cricketCricket has always had some interesting farewells. The sport has successfully created legends and when it has been their time to retire, the world has showered them with love and respect. Cricketers retire for several reasons, sometimes they are forced to stop playing, due to injuries and sometimes, because they know that it is the end of the road. No matter the reason, a star player deciding to call it quits is always an emotional experience.Not all cricket farewells have been ideal. While some have been extremely emotional and fitting, like Sachin Tendulkar or Kumar Sangakarra’s farewell, some have been marred in confusion and controversy.Here is a look at five cricketers who deserved a better retirement than what they got.
#1 Virender Sehwag
The Nawab of Najafgarh has recently announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket. He was not picked since his last Test appearance in 2013 and even though he performed well at the Ranji Trophy, he lost his berth to his younger Delhi team mate Shikhar Dhawan.
The dashing Delhi batsman who has amassed over 16,800 runs and has two triple centuries in his kitty has rued the fact that he did not get the chance to play a farewell match.
He said he would have preferred to retire while still playing and liked to play a farewell match in Delhi, possibly thinking of something along the lines of what the legendary Sachin Tendulkar received.
“Had the selectors told me they were going to drop me, I could have requested them to allow me to play my last Test in Delhi (vs Australia in 2013) and then announce my retirement, but they did not give me that opportunity. A sort of sadness shall always remain in my mind that I was not allowed to retire while playing, but anyway, it's all a part of life for a sportsman," Sehwag was quoted as saying in a television show.
Virender Sehwag claimed that a player who has played 12 to 13 years for his country, deserved at least a farewell match.
#2 Waqar Younis
Former Pakistan captain Waqar Younis retired from cricket in 2004, after playing for 15 years in which he took 373 Test wickets. His retirement was one of the most unceremonious ones, seeing that he had been one of the best fast bowlers that Pakistan had ever produced.
Waqar, who formed one of cricket history’s best seam bowling pair with Wasim Akram, was ignored by the selectors. Since he failed to take Pakistan beyond the first round in the 2003 World Cup in South Africa as captain. He was suddenly dropped from captaincy on the team’s return and also dropped from the team.
Waqar played domestic cricket in a bid to return for the series against India in 2004, but was not picked. After this, Waqar believed it was time to call it quits.
The note of melancholy was unmistakeable when he announced his retirement to the media, saying "I could've played cricket for another year, but I've lost the hunger.”
#3 Michael Vaughan
This English captain never received the credit that he deserved. By far his greatest achievement was the 2005 Ashes win over Australia which sparked a national celebration. The English had reclaimed the Urn after a 16-year hiatus, defeating an Australian side that had dominated Test cricket for a decade.
However, he missed the return series in Australia in 2006/07 because of a debilitating knee injury, which sidelined him for over a year.
Things were never the same after the injury. After England’s disastrous 2007 World Cup campaign in the West Indies, he gave up the one-day captaincy. He hoped to stay in the team in both forms of the game but was never chosen for the one-day side again, although he remained in charge of the Test side and made a century against the West Indies in 2007, and also scored tons in home series against India and New Zealand.
In spite of that, he was not scoring consistently in international or domestic cricket. He was dropped from the 16-man squad, who were to play a practice match before the 2009 Ashes in England, hinting that his Test career could be over.
Very soon after this, the former captain and Ashes hero announced his retirement, without getting a chance to have a formal send-off.
#4 VVS Laxman
VVS Laxman always saved his best for the Australians. So it is no wonder that former Australian legend Steve Waugh had said to his bowler Brett Lee, “If you get Dravid, great. If you get Sachin, brilliant. If you get Laxman, it’s a miracle.”
The Very Very Special man, as he is popularly known, has been one of the classiest Test batsman for India and a match-winner in every possible sense.
However, in 2012, the sudden announcement of retirement by VVS Laxman had sparked off a controversy amid talk that the stylish batsman was not treated well by the Cricket Board and the selection committee.
The Hyderabadi created a flutter by deciding to quit international cricket during the break between two series despite being selected in the team for the two-match Test series against New Zealand.
Laxman had turned down the opportunity to play a farewell Test in front of his home crowd, giving fuel to rumours that he had been 'hurt' by some of the developments in the Board and lack of communication from the selectors. While he was felicitated after the New Zealand series came to an end, it was in no way fitting for a batsman like him.
#5 Mark Waugh
Mark Waugh, known as the twin of the more famous Steve Waugh, retired from international cricket in 2002. He had been extremely successful for Australia, batting at number four in Tests and as an opener in One-Day cricket, amassing over 16,500 runs.
Despite being one of Australia's finest batsmen, Waugh had been under pressure to hold his place in the team after a lean run in 2001. He averaged just over 30 in his last 12 Tests and had not scored a century since the last Ashes Test against England in the same year.
Cricket Australia decided to drop him and chose Darren Lehmann instead for the first Ashes Test against England in Brisbane in 2002. Mark Waugh announced his retirement from international cricket within hours of being axed.
He openly admitted to the media that having been left out of the current Test team and the one-day team earlier that year, he felt his chances of playing for Australia at the age of 37 were nil. He knew that there was no chance of a recall and therefore was bidding adieu to international cricket, without getting a chance to play his last international match.