The World of Cricket is a rapid one. Potentially powerful youngsters enter the ground and before we even know it they’re ready to retire after leaving a huge mark on the game. Retirements, especially when it comes to our favourite players retiring, hurts the most. It was apparent when MS Dhoni retired, as India went into an unofficial mourning routine. It was also evident when thousands of people came over to pay homage to the legendary Sachin Tendulkar when he retired. But there have been instances when players who have retired came back from their retirement to serve their countries on popular demand. Here’s four times such an event has occurred, with players coming out of retirement specifically to play the World Cup for their countries.
1) Carl Hooper –
Carl Hooper was and still is one of the best cricketers West Indies has ever produced. He also happens to be the first cricketer to score 5,000 runs, take 100 wickets and grasp 100 catches in international cricket. The former West Indian captain retired in 1999 from all formats of cricket. In 2001 though he decided to reappear on the ground and took on the captaincy mantle briefly. After retiring from tests in 2002, he went on to play the ODI World Cup of 2003 before hanging his boots for the last time.
2) Shahid Afridi –
The legendary Pakistani all-rounder and former captain retired multiple times before finally settling down. Shahid Afridi called retirement five times in total, and out of them, four were recalled as he put on the green jersey again. He came out of retirement to play the 2011 ODI World Cup in India. His final call for retirement came in 2017 when he actually decided to leave the ground. He is pretty active in cricket today, and is often heard commentating and presenting his viewpoints on hot topics and was particularly in light during the Kohli controversy.
3) Imran Khan –
Arguably the most famous Pakistani captain, Imran Khan, bid adieu to the game of cricket in 1987 after Pakistan crashed out of the World Cup in the semifinals. However, the former Pakistani Prime Minister was recalled into the squad at the request of General Zia Ul Haq, the then President of Pakistan. Imran Khan returned, and in the World Cup of 1992, led Pakistan to their maiden World Cup victory.
4) Javed Miandad –
Javed Miandad, one of the greatest wicketkeeper-batsmen of all time, retired just before the 1996 World Cup. Just like Imran Khan though, Miandad was persuaded to return by then Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. After 10 days of calling quits, Miandad returned to national service for the 1996 Cup.