Top 10 Best Cricketers Who Retired Too Early – (Updated 2023)


Retirement is an ultimate end for any sport whether it be foot ball wrestling or tennis. Some of the cricketers get retired when they are way past their prime. While others make room for youngsters and uprising talent. Today, we will be talking about Top 10 Best Cricketers Who Retired Too Early when they had time to play more cricket.

Top 10 Best Cricketers Who Retired Too Early

Cricket is not every man’s game and you have to give your best to be a top cricketer. Even at that stage you have to say good bye to your favorite sport. Its like, giving your best to the game requires physique, strength, skills and fitness. Some of the quadragenarians are still giving their best today.

But, then they are other who say good bye to their favorite to make room for the youngsters and other reasons. Lets talk about top 10 Best Cricketers who retired too early.

Ab de Villiers [ 34 Years]

Cricket fans around the globe were shocked on the eve of 23 May 2018 when Mr 360 announced his retirement from all formats of cricket at the age of 34 years. It was a soon good bye. In fact, Ab De Villiers is still at his best in Indian Premier League.

Ab De Villiers played 114 Tests, 228 ODIs and 78 T20s for South Africa during his career. He scored 8,765 test 9,577 ODI 1,672 T20 runs from 2014 to 2018. He averaged 50.66 in tests, 53.50 in ODIs and 26.14 in T20s.

Moreover, he also owned 22 Centuries in test and 26 hundreds in ODIs. His test top score was 278* and he had a highest score of 176 in ODIs. Apart from it, Superman also holds the records of the fastest fifty (16 balls), ODI hundred (31 balls) and fastest ODI 150 (64 balls) of all time in cricket.

His stunning stats in cricket and his power hitting skills left his fans in awe when he announced his retirement from cricket.

Sourav Ganguly [35 Years]

Current BCCI President and Former Indian Captain Saurav Ganguly takes the 2nd spot on our list. Nicknamed Dadda, Saurav played International cricket for India from 1992 to 2008. He retired at the age of 35 Years.

His stunning career span lasted for 16 years counting 7,212 Test runs and 11,363 ODI runs. Moreover, Ganguly also had 16 test and 22 ODI hundreds. Considering his stunning career, it was an early decision when he retired in May 2008.

He is addressed as the Maha Raja of Cricket in India. Moreover, he also holds the record of 10,000 runs, 100 wickets & 100 catches in ODI cricket. He is considered the most successful Indian captain of all times.

Kumar Sangakkara [37 Years]

Former Sri Lankan Captain Kumara Sangakara holds the 3rd spot on our list of best cricketers who retired too soon. Sanga is regarded as the greatest of batsman in the history of cricket. He played International cricket for Sri Lanka from 2000 to 2015 and retired at the age of 37.

Sanga played 134 tests and 404 ODI matches for Sri Lanka during his career. He scratched 12,400 test and 14,234 runs in the ODI format. Moreover, he also accounted 38 and 25 hundreds in the test and ODI format as well. His top score in the tests remained 319.

He is the fastest batsman to score 8,000, 9,000, 11,000, 12,000 runs in test format. Sangakkara is the 2nd highest run scorer in the ODI format. He has the most half centuries in the One Day format. Moreover, he is the first and only batsman to score four consecutive hundreds in ODI cricket.

Above all, SangaKarra had a lot to offer in cricket when he retired. Thus, he deserves a spot on our list.

Brendon McCullum [34 Years]

At number 4 we have former New Zealand Captain Brendon McCullum. Nicknamed Baz, McCullum joined the New Zealand team in 2002. His International career lasted for 13 years when he retired from cricket in 2015. He is the most successful batsman in New Zealand cricket.

Brendon McCullum played 101 tests, 260 ODIs and 71 T20 Internationals for New Zealand. He accounts for 6,453 runs in test, 6,083 runs in ODI and 2,140 runs in the T20 format. His top scores are 302 in test and 166 in ODI format.

McCullum holds the record of fastest century in test format. He also led New Zealand to their first World Cup Final in 2015. However, New Zealand could not bring trophy at home. Soon, his retirement followed.

Graeme Smith [33 Years]

At number 5, we have former South African captain Graeme Smith. He represented South Africa in International Cricket from 2002 to 2014. He is regarded as the Greatest Test Captain of all times in cricket. Graeme Smith was nicknamed Biff by his teammates.

His career lasted for only 12 years and he played 117 Tests, 197 ODIs and 33 T20 matches for South Africa. Smith accounts for 9,265 runs in test, 6,989 runs in ODI and 982 runs in T20 format. His career is decorated with 27 Test Hundreds and 10 ODI centuries.

He holds the record of captaining a team for more than 100 tests. Moreover, he was the fastest South African cricketer to score 1000 runs. But, he announced retirement from cricket in 2015 which is said to be an early case.

Kevin Pietersen [34 Years]

Former English Cricketer Kevin Pietersen grabs the 6th spot on our list. He played international cricket for England between 2004 and 2014. His career span lasted for ten years only and he retired at the age of 34 Years.

Kevin had a splendid career as a right handed striking batsman. He played 104 Tests and 136 ODIs for England during his career. His International career accounts for 81,81 runs in test and 4,440 runs in ODI format. Apart from it, he also scratched 23 hundreds in Test and 9 centuries in One Day format.

He is the fastest batsman to complete 5,000 runs in test. However, he said good bye to play league cricket. Therefore, he deserves a place on our list.

Suresh Raina [32 Years]

At 7, we have former Indian Cricketer Suresh Raina who played International cricket for India from 2005 to 2018. His career span lasted for 32 years. Raina is regarded as the best fielder in the world.

Suresh Raina played 18 tests, 226 ODI and 78 T20 matches for India. He accounts for 5,615 runs in the ODI format with a batting average of 35.31. During his career he scored 1 hundred in test and 5 ODI hundreds and 2 T20 centuries.

Raina was more of an aggressive player. Thus, he played only 18 test. However, his aggressive batting style earned him his place in T20 squad. He is the first Indian to hit a century in T20 format. And, he is the first Indian to score hundreds in all format of the game.

His retirement came at the age of 32. Perhaps, a little too early. As, he could have played more cricket for India.

Rilee Russouw [28 Years]

Former South African Cricketer Rilee Russouw takes the 8th spot on our list. He represented South Africa from 2014 to 2017. His career span only counts for 3 years as he retired from International cricket at a young age of 28.

Russouw played 36 ODIs and 15 T20s for South Africa during his career. He managed to score 12,39 runs in ODI and 327 runs in T20 format. He had 3 ODI hundreds during his period. However, he could not play longer for South Africa.

Russouw retired from in 2017. Recently, he played in PSL 2021 where he scored a quick fifty for the title winning team Multan Sultans. He had so much potential and if played longer, he could have offered more achievements to South African cricket.

Umar Gul [32 Years]

Former Pakistani fast bowler Umar Gul grabs the 9th spot on our list. He represented Pakistan in International cricket from 2003 to 2016. Gul was the part of T20 World Cup 2009 winning team. During the tournament, he became the first ever bowler in cricket to take a five wicket haul.

Umar Gul played 47 tests, 130 ODIs and 60 T20 matches during his career. He accounts for 163 test, 179 ODI and 85 T20 wickets during his period. Though, he finished best in 2007 and 2009 T20 World Cups, he could not manage to keep it up in Test and ODI formats.

Thus, he retired from international cricket in 2016. If he could have played more T20s, he would have more wickets in T20 formats.

Peter Siddle [33 Years]

Former Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle makes the final spot on our list. He played international cricket for Australia from 2008 to 2019. His 11 years cricket career ended when he announced his retirement.

Siddle grabbed 221 test wickets during his career with eight fifers. He played only 67 tests, 20 ODIs and 2 T20 matches during his career. Sid suffered injuries in the early days of his career and he had to announce his retirment too early.

Thus, he deserves the final spot on our list.


So here is our list. Who do you think should be on our list? let us know in the comments.