Representing the English national team in tests is the stuff of dreams for any cricketer. After making their international debut, not many go on to consistently represent their national team. The pressures of international cricket, injuries and several other reasons have forced English cricketers to bow out of the game early. In this article, we will look at five England internationals who announced early retirement from the longest format.
#5 Ryan Sidebottom
The curly-haired leftie was a constant presence in the English white ball setup for a few years before his retirement. Sidebottom made his Test debut at Lord’s in 2001 against Pakistan but was not given enough chances due to his lack of pace. He did make a comeback to the English Test squad after during the Peter Moores era but his comeback did not last long.
Sidebottom was part of the 2010 England team that lifted the T-20 World Cup by beating Australia. After the end of the tournament, Sidebottom announced his international retirement at the age of 32. He went on to represent the county of his birth Yorkshire for another seven years after his international retirement.
#4 Marcus Trescothick
Quite literally a giant of the English domestic circuit, Trescothick had his Test career cut short by repeated anxiety attacks. He made his debut in August 2000 at Manchester and played 76 Test matches for England until 2006. He scored 5825 runs at an average of 43, including fourteen hundreds.
He first reported mental health issues during 2006 but the lack of a proper protocol resulted in the condition becoming severe and his eventual retirement from international cricket. However, he played until the age of 43 for Somerset, amassing over 19000 runs.
#3 Andrew Flintoff
Flintoff became a national icon after his heroics in the 2005 Ashes in which England defeated Australia 2-1. His searing pace, awkward bounce and aggressive lower-order hitting made him a fan favourite across continents. However, bowling fast for long periods of time also took a toll on his body.
By 2009, he was no longer the physical phenomenon he once was but still helped England retain the Ashes before hanging up his boots. Since his retirement, he has worked as a television partner and also had a brief career as a boxer.
#2 Craig Kieswetter
Kieswetter’s career had the saddest possible ending as a serious eye injury left him no choice but to leave cricket forever. Rubbing salt to the wound is the fact that he sustained the injury behind the stumps as the ball hit him on the eye despite the presence of a helmet.
Kieswetter’s most memorable moment in an England shirt came in 2010 when he was named the man of the match in the T-20 World Cup final. He totally played 46 ODI and 25 T-20I games for England
#1 James Taylor
More than a top draw ODI player, Taylor was a humble, hardworking lad that everybody liked. This fact made it even more depressing when news broke out that Taylor had ARVC, an incurable heart condition and he cannot play cricket anymore. Early retirement followed and the cricketing world poured heartfelt tributes to a fantastic young cricketer.
He was in the form of his life in List-A cricket and looked set for a lengthy run with the national team. Taylor played over a hundred first-class game and averaged 46 with the bat. In 2018, he was appointed as a national team selector and continues to serve the nation in that role to this day.