IPL 2022 – 3 players who made a comeback after announcing their retirement
The momentum, form, and fitness of a player in any sport play an important role in a sportsperson’s career. If these three characteristics are together, the player’s career can be extended. Aside from these characteristics, the support of a senior player or selectors gives a player confidence to accomplish well for their team.
Several cricketers have retired from the game owing to disagreements with their captain, selectors, or personal reasons. Some of them made poor choices at the time and learned it too late. However, just a few of them have returned to bless the field with their presence and outstanding performances.
In this article, we are going to talk about 3 cricketers who made a comeback after announcing their retirement.
Number 1. Bhanuka Rajapaksa
Bhanuka Rajapaksa, one of the best left-handed batters in the current batch of potential Sri Lanka team players, has been a standout on the international stage. He made his T20I debut in 2019 and will play his first ODI match in 2021. The southpaw scored 155 runs at an average of 38.75 in eight T20 World Cup 2021 matches.
Rajapaksa declared his retirement on January 3, 2022, citing familial obligations, however, it was believed he was dissatisfied with the selectors’ decision to leave him out of the squad due to fitness difficulties. After meeting with the Sports Minister and national selectors, he changed his mind and asked the Sri Lanka Cricket Board to withdraw his application after 10 days.
Although he was not selected for the last series against India and South Africa, he cannot be neglected any longer after doing well in the IPL 2022. Rajapaksa has 201 runs in seven innings at an average of 28.71 and a strike rate of 166.11.
Number 2. Shahid Afridi
Shahid Afridi, nicknamed ‘Lala’ by his supporters, is widely regarded as one of the world’s best all-rounders. In 1996, he made his international debut in an ODI against Zimbabwe, and in 1998, he played in his maiden Test match. Despite a promising start in Test cricket, he retired in 2006, only to return a few weeks later. In 2010, he captained Pakistan against England in his final Test match before hanging up his boots from the red-ball format.
After losing in the World Cup semi-finals against India, he was relieved of his leadership role and announced his retirement from international cricket in May 2011. However, after a five-month absence, the all-rounder returned to play in a bilateral series against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Following Pakistan’s early exit from the 2015 World Cup, Afridi announced his retirement from one-day internationals. He continued to play in the T20 format until 2016 and then retired from the shortest format in 2017. He scored over 10,000 runs and took over 500 wickets in all three formats.
Number 3. Kevin Pietersen
Kevin Pietersen, the flashy hitter, made his international debut in an ODI against Zimbabwe in November 2004. A few months later, he made an excellent Test debut, scoring half-centuries in both innings for England in the first Test of the 2005 Ashes. He eventually returned as the series’ leading run-scorer, with 473 runs in 10 innings.
Pietersen captained England in Tests and One-Day Internationals in 2008-09, but resigned soon after due to a disagreement with the England Cricket Board (ECB). In the 2010 World Cup, he led the squad in scoring with 248 runs in 6 innings, helping the team to its first title victory. Due to the text-message incident, he withdrew from limited-overs cricket in 2012, calling it a measure to allow the kids to prepare for the 2015 World Cup.
Later that year, though, he secured an agreement with the ECB that permitted him to rejoin the international squad in all formats. Pietersen last appeared for England in the Ashes in 2014. The right-hander declared his retirement in 2018. In 177 games, he scored almost 13,000 runs, including 32 tonnes and 67 fifties.