Ambati Rayudu had called time on his career from all forms of cricket soon after he was snubbed twice during the 2019 World Cup. He was first snubbed when Vijay Shankar was chosen ahead of him. And when Shankar was injured, the selectors named Mayank Agarwal as his replacement instead of Rayudu. The Chennai Super Kings batsman was visibly displeased and immediately announced retirement.
But recently, he did a U-turn, stating he’s making himself available for Hyderabad in domestic cricket as he still has enough cricket left in him. He said he has come out of retirement for his well-wishers.
Well, Rayudu is not the first and will not be the last to do a U-turn on retirement and make a comeback to international cricket. There have been numerous examples of such players who have made a comeback after calling time on their careers.
Cricwizz takes a look at five cricketers who made a comeback despite calling time on their careers.
Even the Pakistan all-rounder would have lost count of the number of times he has called time on his career, but still made a return to cricket. Afridi announced a temporary retirement from Tests in 2006 to focus on limited-overs cricket and the 2007 World Cup.
In May 2010, Afridi made a return to Tests after he was appointed full-time skipper across formats. But after just one Test, he announced his retirement from this format, stating lack of temperament for the longer version of the game.
In May 2011, he made a conditional retirement from international cricket in protest against the treatment meted out to him by the then Pakistan board. In October 2011, when PCB chairman Ijaz Ahmed was replaced, Afridi withdrew his retirement.
He announced his ODI retirement after Pakistan were knocked out from the 2015 World Cup. He retired from T20Is in Feb 2017. But he came back to lead Rest of the World XI squad for the one-off T20I against West Indies in May 2018.
He was regarded as one of the best all-rounders of his time. He had retired from cricket after the 1987 World Cup. However, a year later in 1988, Imran Khan returned to cricket after he was asked to make a comeback by then President of Pakistan, General Zia-Ul-Haq.
Imran’s fortune as skipper soared after making a comeback. He led Pakistan to a successful tour of West Indies where he took 23 wickets in 3 Tests and was declared man of the series.
But Khan’s best moment of his career came when he led Pakistan to 1992 World Cup triumph and immediately called time on his career after the final. He also took the last England wicket to fall in the 1992 World Cup final.
The South Africa-born England batsman announced his retirement from ODIs in May 2012 after he had a disagreement with the board regarding his schedule. He later retracted his decision in July 2012 and said he may play ODIs in the future.
However, a disastrous tour of Ashes that England lost by a 5-0 margin saw Pietersen play international cricket for the final time as selectors told him he won’t be counted for selection anymore.
KP continued to play T20 cricket across the various domestic T20 tournaments in the world. In 2018, he retired from all forms of cricket, scoring 8181 runs in 104 Tests, and 4440 runs in 136 ODIs for England.
He had the shortest period of retirement before making his comeback to international cricket. He was persuaded to return to international cricket by then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, just 10 days after announcing his retirement.
Miandad scored 8832 runs for Pakistan in 124 Tests and 7381 runs in 233 ODIs. He is best remembered for his last-ball six against Chetan Sharma in the final to win the Australasia Cup in 1986. He is one of the two batsmen, along with Sachin Tendulkar, to play six Word Cups.
The West Indian cricketer played 102 Tests and 227 ODIs for West Indies, but it can be easily divided between two retirements. He first retired just weeks before the 1999 World Cup. He made a return to international cricket in 2001 and went on to captain West Indies in 2003 World Cup. But West Indies were knocked out in the first round itself.
He was retained in the squad for the next tournament but he pulled out, calling time on his career for the final time, citing he wants a youngster to take his place. His last international match came against Kenya in the 2003 World Cup.
Almost made a return after retiring
AB de Villiers
After South Africa’s dismal start in the 2019 World Cup, reports emerged that AB de Villiers, who had retired from all forms of cricket just a year before the tournament, had called the South African board and expressed his interest to play in the 2019 World Cup.
But the board refused, stating the squad has been finalised and they have groomed a replacement for him. Even SA skipper Faf du Plessis admitted ABD has shown interest to come back from retirement but it was too late then.