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The retire is a temporary elimination of the batsman from the game when the ball is considered dead (Dead ball). According to clause №25 of the Laws of Cricket, a batsman can stop at any part of his inning, provided that he can be replaced by another batsman who has not yet managed to get out of touch. As a rule, the retire is announced in situations where the batsman is injured or unwell. However, in any case, he must inform the judge in advance about the reasons for his decision.

It is noteworthy that clause №25 of the Laws of Cricket also sets some restrictions for the batsman who used it, in particular:

“25.4.2. If the batsman leaves the field due to pain, injury or any other reason that cannot be ignored, he has the right to resume his inning. If this did not happen, the player’s statistics would be marked “Retired – Not out”.

25.4.3. If the batsman left the field for any other reason not included in the previous paragraph, then his return is allowed only with the prior consent of the opposing team’s captain. If the inning has not been resumed, the player’s statistics will show “Retired – Out”.

25.4.4. If the batsman returns to the game after retiring, then his entry into the field is allowed only after destroying the wicket or eliminating the previous batsman. “

If the batsman leaves the field due to injury, the next batsman on the list will take his place. In this case, the batter is obliged to close the inning even if he did not have time to return to its completion (for example, when the player is sick or he receives urgent medical attention). The batter in such a situation can lose, even if it has given a total of nine or fewer wickets since the shortage of runs will inevitably affect the final score.

As of 25.4.3, it applies to those batsmen who have left the playing court for reasons unrelated to their health condition. It is quite natural that this happens quite rarely (for example, at the test level in 2019, Retired – Out was recorded only twice, and this happened within the same inning when the representatives of Sri Lanka Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardena left the field).

It is extremely rare to make exceptions from section 25.4.3. So, Gordon Greenidge left the field to visit his dying daughter in the fifth test match of India against the West Indies of the 1982-1983 season. As a sign of respect to the player, his 154 runs were included in the final statistics with the note “Retired – Not out”.

Even though cricket is not generally considered a traumatic sport, there have been several significant cases in its history when players, using the retire rule and returning to the field after a break, gained a reputation as real heroes:

  1. West Indies representative Malcolm Marshall broke his thumb in a test match against England in 1984. Even though the player was not expected to return to the field, he asked the doctors to put on a tight bandage and again went to the pitch. Although Malcolm could only work with his right hand, he was able to help his team to formalize the necessary advantage.
  2. Anil Kumble, who represented India on the test level in 619 games, was seriously injured in a game against the West Indies in 2002. Mervyn Dillon hit him in the jaw with the ball on the first inning, but Anil only spat blood and spent another twenty minutes on the field, beating serve after serve, and only then turned to the doctors, who diagnosed the fracture. Nevertheless, the Indian limited himself to dressing, after which he again went to the pitch, this time taking the position of a bowler. As a result, he managed to take the most important wicket, which was defended by the legendary Brian Lara, although this did not affect the final score – the match ended in a draw due to the poor state of the pitch.
  3. Tamim Iqbal played with a broken wrist against Sri Lanka at the 2018 Asian Cup. After his leaving on the second over, the Bangladesh team sagged noticeably, so the player asked for a plaster cast and returned to the field. He was able to level the score and ensure his national team victory with a difference of 137 runs together with Mushfiqur Rahim Tamim.

It is interesting: the retire from clause №25 of the Laws of Cricket should not be confused with retire, that is, the retirement of a player from professional sports, which is also often called retirement.

Nisha Bhavani
Author: Nisha Bhavani Position: Cricket Expert

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