While cricket is considered to be a gentleman’s game there is rivalry and jealousy included in it which is not visible to the naked eye. On many occasions, internal problems between players lead to the undoing of their international careers. On many occasions, players being ignored by the selectors plays n their minds and leads them to think on giving up on their international career. Ambati Rayudu, Gautam Gambhir and Kevin Pietersen are names who have announced international retirements due to personal grudges or dirty politics. In the current Indian team, Kuldeep Yadav has often spoken about the selectors willingly sidelining him from playing international cricket.
In this article, we take a look at 5 players whose career have ended early due to dirty politics and other reasons.
5 Players Whose Career Ended Due To Dirty Politics
Gautam Gambhir was instrumental behind two of India’s most famous World Cup wins in 2007 and 2011. He ended as the highest-run getter in the T20 World Cup and played an innings of 97 in the 2011 World Cup final. However, since India’s 2011 World Cup win, Gambhir id not find a regular place in the XI. He last played an ODI for India in 2013 and his last Test match was against England in the 2014 tour. Many believe that the reason behind Gambhir’s early retirement was his strained relationship with then Indian skipper MS Dhoni. Time and again Gambhir has spoken about how many players including him fell prey to the selection policy issues triggered by Dhoni himself.
Ambati Rayudu was among the many Indian batsmen who were given a go at number four between 2017-2018 for the 50-over World Cup in 2019. With consistent performances, Rayudu made his case stronger for being India’s number 4 in the World Cup. However, when the final squad was announced by the selection panel led by MSK Prasad, Rayudu was left out of the squad with Vijay Shankar getting selected as a specialist number four in the squad due to his three-dimensional abilities as a player.
This came as a big shock to him and he made a controversial tweet which made a big noise on social media. Upset with the fact that he was ditched from the squad, Rayudu announced his international retirement during India’s World Cup campaign itself. Later Prasad admitted that it was a mistake on his part to not include Rayudu in India’s World Cup squad.
Symonds was one of the Australian cricketers who had a controversial career. The monkey gate scandal involving him and Harbhajan Singh remains one of the most controversial chapters of Australian cricket. Symonds was sent back midway from the ODI series against Bangladesh after he opted to go fishing rather than attending the team meeting. Later, there were also reports of his fall out with Michael Clarke leading to his early retirement from the game.
Kevin Pietersen is also among the 5 players in this list whose career came to an end due to controversial reasons. Pietersen was credited to have changed the oulook of England cricket and cricketers in the ODI format. He was also a part of the 2005 Ashes-winning squad and the team that won the T20 World Cup in 2010.
His fallout with Andrew Strauss remains one of the most talked-about topics in international cricket. Pietersen has always promoted England players playing the IPL while a purist like Strauss had issues with his attitude on and off the field. Pietersen’s name was also linked to matters outside of cricket. Finally, KP decided to retire in the 2013-14 season. However, he continued playing franchise T20 cricket for a fair length of time and continues to speak on the importance of T20 franchise cricket leagues for England players.
Akhtar made his debut in 1999 and was a part of Pakistan’s golden generation of cricketers. He was a part of the pace attack involving Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis with him being the third pacer. Akhtar had some great duels on the field with the best of batsmen in the game of cricket.
He last played in the 2011 World Cup but did not play the semifinal against India. He later said that he fell prey to team politics led by Shahid Afridi who promoted a young Wahab Riaz in that game. Being ignored for that game, he did not get many opportunities since then and finally called time on his career.
He thus concludes the list of 5 players who had to take early retirement due to dirty politics and other controversial reasons.