Records, centuries, memories, but no farewell game.
Representing the country and playing the highest form of the game is a proud moment for any sportsperson. Every player hopes that similar to the start, even the end of their careers will be memorable. But not everyone is fortunate enough to end it with the perfect ‘farewell game’.
Yuvraj Singh announced his retirement on 11th June and the cricketing world has responded with overwhelming love. He has had a monumental career but like many other legends, even Yuvraj Singh retired off the field.
Here are 4 other Indian legends who retired off the field and did not get to play a farewell game.
1. VVS Laxman
Australia’s nightmare, the ‘Very Very Special’ batsman from Hyderabad was one of the finest of the lot. He is arguably one of the best red ball cricketers India has ever produced.
VVS announced his retirement on 18th August 2012. In a career spanning over 16 years, he played 134 tests for India scoring 8781 runs with 17 centuries and his best knock of 281 came against his favourite opposition, Australia.
He did not play a farewell game instead announced his retirement in a press conference.
Since his retirement, he has been an active TV broadcaster and has also been a mentor to the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL.
2. Virender Sehwag
Source: India TV
You know it’s Virender Sehwag when the first ball of the innings goes for a boundary. The man who revolutionized opening batting in India, the ‘Nawab of Najafgarh’ is the only Indian to have 2 triple centuries in tests and a double century in ODIs.
On 20th October 2015, the dangerous opener announced his retirement from all forms of the game.
He scored 8586 runs in the red ball game in 104 tests, with 23 centuries.
He made his ODI debut in 1999 against Pakistan and coincidentally, 14 years later he played his last match in 2013 also against Pakistan. He also contributed in India’s 2011 World Cup victory.
There might be many openers, who’d open for India in the future, but there’d be none like Sehwag.
3. Zaheer Khan
Source: Highlights india
There have been very few successful left-arm speedsters from India and Zaheer Khan has been one of those few rare breeds who has constantly done well for India.
Zaheer also announced his retirement in 2015, on 15th October just 5 days before Sehwag bid goodbye.
Zaheer is also another World Champion who was a very important contributor to India’s success in the 2011 World Cup.
593 wickets in 292 International games, Zaheer has been a true champion and one of the greats of Indian cricket history.
4. Gautam Gambhir
Be it the T20 World Cup victory in 2007 or the 2011 World Cup victory, the name Gautam Gambhir just shines bright on both the scorecards.
He scored a 75 in 2007 final and an underrated 97 in 2011 final, guiding the team to victory with crucial contributions.
Gambhir announced his retirement on 3rd December 2018, he did not get a farewell game on the International stage but the Delhi player retired on the field as he played his last Ranji Trophy match against Andhra cricket team.
With or without a farewell game, these champions will continue to be applauded and recognized. We can only thank them for their contributions and the number of memories they have given us over the years.