With Isuru Udana announcing his retirement at the age of 33 and with Sir Benjamin Stokes announcing an indefinite break due to personal reasons, a question does arise to mind; Why do cricketers take a break or retire at such a young age? The reasons can be widespread from mental health issues, to personal reasons, injuries, and many more. So, here’s a roundup of reasons why cricketers announce retirements at such a young age: –
Mental Health Issues: –
Cricket as a sport brings along with it fame, money, and power, and most importantly pressure. Dealing with all these at the same time can at times be stressful. This eventually can lead to mental health issues, from insomnia to depression, you name them all!! English cricketers, however, have always been on the front of addressing this taboo. From Marcus Treskothic back in 2006 to Sarah Taylor in the recent past, all of them have openly spoken about their mental health. Jonathan Trott too had left in between the ongoing Ashes in 2013-14 because the pressure had taken a toll on his mental health!
Apart from the above three, players such as Ben Stokes and Andrew Flintoff too have voiced their supportive opinions on this issue. For instance, quote Jonathan Trott,” While ducking the “Short Balls” from Mitchell Johnson in the 2013 Ashes, I felt like my dignity was getting stripped”. Such small cricketing incidents too can harshly impact the mental state!
Freelance Cricketing due to low pay scale by cricketing boards: –
“Freelance Cricketers”, a fairly new term in the field of cricket, certainly is a big cause for players retiring early. Why wouldn’t a player play for a franchise that pays him thrice the amount of his cricketing board? It is monetarily beneficial and also saves a lot of time as the franchise tournaments last for only 3-4 months. South African ABD, Cameron Delport, and Srilanka’s Isuru Udana along with Pakistan’s Amir are a few noteworthy examples of freelance cricketers. With the kind of financial benefits, this system has and with the number of t20 leagues increasing by the hour, this tribe is about to multiply, quicker than ever!
Injuries and failing to contribute: –
Constant Injuries and failure to contribute too, are big reasons. Remember James Taylor, the Englishman who represented the side in the 2015 World Cup? James was forced to retire due to a serious heart condition. You may ask Ashish Nehra about his experience with injuries! The guy has played 19 years of cricket with over 12 surgeries!! Not everyone’s piece of cake, isn’t it? Players like Mark Boucher and Craig Kieswetter also had to retire after suffering career-ending injuries.
So, retiring at a young age, I suppose must not be very astonishing from now onwards, isn’t it? Most of the reasons are genuinely concerning! To conclude I would say that irrespective of why an individual retires, to back his decision and support him, always needs to be the priority of us as the cricket community.