7 cricketers who retired midway through a Test series
Johnson is the latest in the ‘retiring’ faculty list“I just lost that hunger to play on these tough days, and that's where my decision came. I felt like I couldn't compete at this level anymore."These were the words spoken by outgoing Mitchell Johnson who recently, and more surprisingly, retired from all forms of the cricket at WACA, Perth. If his losing prowess in the bowling was easily visible in his figures and his sapping vitality, the news of his retirement left many in bewilderment as he left off the field amid the ongoing series between New Zealand and Australia.His retirement once again brought back the nuances of this “Gentlemen’s game” that forces the cricketers’ to retire before completing the obligation of a full series. Here is a list of players who called it off midway through a series:
#7 Allan Donald
In a home series against Australia in the year 2002, this deadly and attacking fast bowler from South Africa announced his retirement with two Tests to go in the series. Explaining his decision with a heavy heart, Donald said, "I have reached a stage where I am tired of letting myself, my team and my country down with my injuries."
One of the finest bowlers’ to have played the game for South Africa, he took 330 wickets at an astonishing average of 22.25 and was heavily let down by the constant fitness issues that obstructed his career in the year 2001-02.
Later on, he became the bowling coach for South Africa and boasts of creating a pace battery consisting of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander.
#6 Damien Martyn
Once considered as an untenable pillar of Australian middle-order batting, this cricketer from Western Australia shocked the cricketing fraternity by announcing retirement ahead of the home Test at Perth during the 2006-07 Ashes.
Facing troubles with his form - An average of 31 in last 15 Tests - he decided to hang his boots amid the much-debated rivalry between England and Australia. Though his then recent form was poor by Australian standards’ and he stood a fair chance of being dropped, it was revealed later on that he had lost his faith in Australian cricketing system and the way it treated players.
#5 Shane Bond
Once touted as one of the fastest bowlers’ in the World, this cricketer from New Zealand succumbed to constant injuries resulting out of Test Cricket. He was forced into Test retirement after he tore an abdominal muscle in the first Test against Pakistan in the year 2009.
Explaining the tough decision he had said: "But looking back, so many of my injuries have come during Test cricket. Unfortunately, my body just won't let me continue to play at that level, given the workload and demands of Test cricket."
He averaged 22 in Test cricket as he had 87 wickets to his name in a tally of 22 Tests.
#4 Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble - The man of steel - who bowled with a broken jaw years ago against West Indies had to retire before the completion of the series owing to a hand injury that he suffered against Australia at the third day of the fourth Test in the year 2008.
A match winner and India’s most successful Test Bowler, his sudden retirement from Test cricket meant that the baton of Test captaincy was passed on to MS Dhoni who looked the obvious choice for the job.
It was an emotional moment for the whole of India and for him as he was carried on the shoulders’ by his team mates to have a lap around the ground. Kumble felt the occasion to be “apt” as Delhi was the place where he webbed the Pakistanis’ with his magical bowling and recorded the famous 10/74 in an Innings nearly 10 years ago.
#3 Graeme Swann
Graeme Swann retired in the 2013-14 Ashes Series in Australia where his home side was swept off by the Australians, especially, Mitchell Johnson. Having managed only seven wickets’ in first three Tests, he decided to call it off and lacked the zeal to continue with an ailing side with two Tests still to be played at MCG and SCG.
The off-spinner from England looked out of form in all the three matches he played and his disappointment came into light when he admitted his remorse for going on in that Ashes with the team at the first place. Later on, Moeen Ali became the lead off-spinner in the side after he spun away India in the 2014 Home Series.
#2 MS Dhoni
The Indian Test captain shocked all and sundry by retiring from Test Cricket without any fanfare after he played a placid innings of 24 runs off 29 balls in the dying Test at Melbourne against Austraila. Rumors’ came to the center stage when he made the decision amid the series and though it was expected to be coming from him, leaving the field between an ongoing series might not sound good.
His statement in 2012 saying that he is pondering over quitting one form of the game to prolong his career finally came into practice as continuous poor overseas’ show under his captaincy was met with severe criticism. And the on-going Australian summer in 2014 was no exception to that.
#1 Mitchell Johnson
The fast-bowler from Australia decided to leave the most loved arena of his life when he was taken to the cleaners by New Zealand batsmen in the second Test at WACA. He conceded 1-157 in his 28 overs as New Zealand amassed a total of 624 runs in their first innings and never looked the bowler he was few seasons ago.
At one end, Starc was proving to be the next spearhead of the Australian bowling attack, on the other end, Johnson was struggling on a pitch traditionally known for its pace and bounce. Though he looked contended with the decision, leaving the international scene midway through the series was not anticipated of him.