Fans around the world develop deep emotional connections with their favorite players, who serve as role models for many. The idea of not witnessing our beloved athletes grace the grand stage again is truly heart-wrenching.
Retirement is a challenging phase, whether in sports or any other profession. For athletes, bidding farewell to their cherished sport is a much tougher journey than it appears. While 2023 has brought us thrilling sporting events like the T20 World Cup, WPL, and The Hundred, it has also brought surprising retirements that have left a profound impact worldwide.
On August 22, 2023, the 29-year-old English bowler, Alex Hartley, officially retired from cricket. She began her international career in 2016, representing England against Pakistan. In the following year, she played a pivotal role in England’s World Cup victory, securing 10 wickets in 8 matches during the tournament. Her performance made her England’s second-highest wicket-taker, with only star player Anya Shrubsole ahead of her. Throughout her career, Hartley played 32 matches for the English team, taking a total of 42 wickets in various limited-overs formats.
At the age of 18, Ayesha Naseem from Pakistan decided to conclude her relatively brief cricketing career, a move that surprised many who expected a long journey for her in the sport. Ayesha mentioned her desire to focus on her religious practice as the reason behind her decision. She burst onto the scene at just 15 years old when she made her debut for Pakistan. Over her career, Ayesha played 34 matches for Pakistan and accumulated 402 runs in various limited-over formats.
Mary Waldron, the veteran wicket-keeper batter, bid farewell to international cricket on July 28, becoming Ireland Women’s highest-capped player at that time, although Laura Delany has since taken that record. She made her debut in 2010 against New Zealand and during her career, she executed an impressive 111 dismissals from behind the stumps.
South Africa’s right-handed fast bowler, Shabnim, marked her international debut in 2007 against Pakistan. After a remarkable 16-year career, she decided to retire from international cricket on May 3, 2023. Shabnim contributed to a total of 231 matches for the Proteas across all three formats, amassing an impressive 317 wickets. Her outstanding performances also include four instances of taking 5-wicket hauls.
The experienced English fast bowler, aged 38, announced her retirement from international cricket on May 5, 2023. Over her illustrious career, she proudly represented England in 267 matches, achieving an impressive tally of 335 wickets across all three formats. Additionally, she contributed 1864 runs in these formats. Notably, Sciver-Brunt was a vital member of the England team that clinched victory in 2017.
Pakistan’s ex-opening batter, Nahida Khan, retired from international cricket on June 15, 2023. Nahida began her international career in 2009 when she played against Sri Lanka. Throughout her journey, she proudly represented Pakistan in 120 matches, accumulating a total of 2014 runs in limited-overs formats. Nahida also achieved half-centuries on eight occasions.