The year 2018 brought with it great moments of cricketing skills but it also brought the curtains down on the careers of some of the legends of the game. Some went out with a bang, others exited with a whimper, while some others, wrapped in obscurity for years, hit the headlines again when they made public their decision to hang their boots.
Below is the list of top 10 cricketers who won't ever don their national jersey and cross the rope to enter the field, as a player. The cricketers who retired in 2018.
1) Gautam Gambhir: Veteran Indian opener Gautam Gambhir, who played a crucial role in India's two successful World Cup campaigns, announced retirement on December 3 this year. "I know the time is just right", Gambhir said in a Twitter video in which he made the announcement. The southpaw remains the fourth-top run-getter among southpaws in ODIs. Overall, Gambhir played 58 tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20s for India. In Tests, he scored 4,154 runs at the average of 41.95, collected 5,238 ODI runs and amassed 932 more runs in the T-20 format.
Alastair Cook hits 33rd Test century in his last test innings. Photo: Reuters2) Alastair Cook -- "There is nothing left in the tank," Alastair Cook said while announcing that he'd play his last international cricket against India. That wasn't true though since the stylish Englishman took to the pitch and scored a century in his last innings, making him only the fifth player to achieve such a feat. He scored 71 and 147 in the two innings. Cook captained England in 59 tests and 69 ODIs. In total, he played 161 tests, 92 ODIs and four T-20s for England. He was particularly prolific in Tests in which he amassed 12,474 runs at an average of 45.35.
Kevin Pietersen (Photo: Reuters)3) Kevin Pietersen -- The swashbuckling batsman was a no-nonsense affair all his career and he took little time to get going on the pitch. He took as few words to announce his retirement. "BOOTS UP! Thank you" is all he tweeted. But his playing career had obviously been much larger, more impactful during which he played 104 Tests, 136 ODIs, and 37 T-20s. He scored 8,181 runs in Tests at the average of 47.28, scored 4,440 runs in ODIs and 1,176 more in T-20s.
AB de Villiers4) AB De Villiers -- Cricket's very own Mr.360 shocked the world when he announced retirement from international cricket in May. Although he will continue playing domestic and league cricket. Months later, he was quoted as citing pressure as the reason behind the big decision. Regardless, De Villiers remains a great servant of the game who not only scored boundaries at will, but also changed the way it was done. De Villiers played 114 tests, 228 ODIs and 72 T-20s for South Africa and remains a popular figure in cricket fraternity and among fans.
Mohammad Kaif (Photo: PTI)5) Mohammad Kaif -- Kaif announced his retirement from all forms of competitive cricket in July, 2018. While announcing his retirement, Kaif said it was "a dream" for him to play for India. He had played his last match for India years before -- 12 years, to be precise. Although he did continue to play first-class cricket for UP and Chhattisgarh. He was renowned for his acrobatic fielding but his effective lower-order batting also won him accolades. He played 13 Tests and 145 ODIs for India and will always be remembered for his heroics in the 2002 Natwest Trophy Final against England.
Dwayne Bravo (Photo: PTI)6) Dwayne Bravo -- West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo announced retirement from international cricket in October 2018. He had already retired from Test but also confirmed his retirement from ODI and T-20. Bravo was famous for his slower-ones and hard-hitting abilities, especially in death overs. He played his final T-20 in Abu Dhabi against Pakistan. In total, Bravo played 199 ODI matches and scored 2,968 runs. In 40 tests, Bravo scored 2200 runs at an average of 31.42 and took 86 wickets.
RP Singh (Photo: PTI)7) R P Singh -- Rudra Pratap Singh, one of the starts of India's successful campaign during ICC World T20 in 2007, quit cricket in September, 2018. Announcing his decision, Singh said he wanted to make way for the young. He played 14 Tests, 58 one-day internationals and 10 Twenty20 Internationals for India after making his international debut in 2005 and took 124 wickets in ODIs. He last featured in an international game in an ODI against England in Cardiff on 16 September 2011.
Praveen Kumar (Photo: Reuters)8) Praveen Kumar -- The Uttar Pradesh paceman played six Tests, 68 ODIs and 10 T20Is for India, picking up 112 wickets across all formats. He was especially prolific in India's series triumph in Australia in 2007. He put another stellar performance in a series against England in 2011 which led to him featuring on the Lords Honour Boards for his 5 wicket haul. He last played for India in 2012. Six years later, announcing his retirement, Kumar said "My time is over and I have accepted it".
Munaf Patel (Photo: PTI)9) Munaf Patel -- World Cup winner Munaf Patel played 13 Tests, 70 ODIs and three T20Is for the Blues, picking up 125 international wickets in the process. He was especially crucial in India's 2011 World Cup campaign, in which he took 11 wickets. Annoucing his decision to retire, Patel said "there is no motivation left" and listed lifting the World Cup as one of the high points of his career.
Rangana Herath10) Rangana Herath -- Sri Lankan spinner Rangana Herath announced retirement in November. For the majority of his career, Herath played second-fiddle to his more prolific compatriot Muttiah Muralitharan. Despite that, by the time he retired, Herath played 93 Tests (433 wickets), 71 ODIs (74 wickets) and 17 T20s (18 wickets). In total, he took 433 wickets, making him the second-highest wicket-taker in international cricket for Sri Lanka.