Retired (cricket)

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In cricket, a batter may retire from an innings at any time when the ball is dead; they must then be replaced by a teammate who has not been dismissed. The most common reason for retirement is if the batter becomes injured or unwell, in which case they can resume their innings.

Retirement is covered by Law 25 of the Laws of Cricket,[1] which distinguishes between two types of retirement. If the batter is ill or injured they are considered retired - not out and are permitted to return to batting if they recover. In all other cases the batter is considered retired - out and may not return to the innings, unless the opposing captain offers an exemption. These two types of retirement are considered differently in cricket statistics.

Retired - not out


If a batting player becomes injured or falls ill (or some other exceptional circumstance forces them to leave the field), and they receive permission from the umpire, they may retire not out. If the retired batter recovers before the end of the innings, they may resume batting, upon the dismissal or retirement of another batter. If they cannot return to batting by the end of the innings, e.g. if they have been taken to hospital for medical treatment, the batting side must close its innings once it is all out i.e. has only one batter who is not out and not retired.[1] It is therefore possible for the innings to end despite the batting side only losing nine wickets (or fewer, if there are multiple retirements).

This situation is officially recorded on the scorecard as "retired - not out",[1] though the unofficial term "retired - hurt" is often used on broadcasts instead. The batter is considered 'not out' for statistical purposes e.g. when calculating a batting average.

Retired - out


If a batter retires for any other reason, or without the umpire's permission, they are considered to have forfeited their wicket and are therefore out. Unless the opposing captain offers an exemption, the retired batters may not return. This situation is recorded on the scorecard as 'retired - out' and is considered a dismissal for statistical purposes, though is not credited to a bowler.[1]



As of 2019, only two batters have retired out in a test match, and both instances occurred in the same innings: Sri Lankan batters Marvan Atapattu and Mahela Jayawardene both retired out in a match against Bangladesh in 2001.[2][3] The decision was controversial, since they retired out to give the rest of the team batting practice, and this was considered unsporting.[4]

The only example in Test cricket of an opposing captain granting an exemption was for Gordon Greenidge, during the fifth Test of the 1982–83 India–West Indies series. Greenidge was not out on a score of 154 overnight (his highest score in Tests to that point), when he received news that his two-year-old daughter was critically ill. He retired and flew from Antigua to Barbados to visit the hospital where his daughter was being treated; she died two days later. Greenidge took no further part in the match. As a mark of respect, he was recorded as "retired not out".[5][6][7]

In Twenty20 (T20) cricket, teams sometimes retire a batter for purely tactical reasons, such as to switch left- and right-handed batters, though this practice has been controversial and lambasted as unsporting.[8] The first example at professional level was in a match between Bhutan and Maldives at the 2019 South Asian Games, when Sonam Tobgay of Bhutan retired out at the end of the 19th over.[9] In the 2022 Indian Premier League, R Ashwin retired out while playing for Rajasthan Royals against Lucknow Super Giants.[10][11] In June 2022, during the 2022 T20 Blast match between the Birmingham Bears and the Notts Outlaws, Carlos Brathwaite (Birmingham Bears) and Samit Patel (Notts Outlaws) both retired out for tactical reasons.[12] During the group stage match between Namibia and England held at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in the 2024 ICC Men's T20 World Cup, Namibia's Niko Davin became the first batter to be dismissed retired out in a T20 World Cup match. Davin who came in as the opening batsman for Namibia in the run chase, then announced himself that he was leaving the field during the 6th over of the Namibian innings while he was still batting with an unbeaten score of 18 runs off 16 balls. Namibia were left to chase a revised target of 126 runs in 10 overs in a rain-curtailed match, and as a result, he made himself retire out considering the circumstances Namibia were reeling at and to make a case for another batter to capitalize on the required run rate in order to score runs in a quick manner.[13]

See also



  1. ^ a b c d "Law 25 – Batsman's Innings; Runners". MCC. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Records / Test matches / Batting records / Unusual dismissals". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  3. ^ "Full Scorecard of Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka 2nd Match 2001/02". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Lanka 'ridicule' cricket". The Tribune. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  5. ^ "April 30, 1983: Gordon Greenidge and the 'Tragic Century'". News18. 30 April 2017. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Born to keep". ESPN Cricinfo. 3 May 2006. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  7. ^ Das, Rituparna (30 April 2018). "Flashback: When Gordon Greenidge left his innings incomplete to tend to his sick daughter". CricTracker.
  8. ^ Liew, Jonathan (7 June 2022). "The rise of tactical batting retirements: intriguing innovation or just not cricket?". The Guardian.
  9. ^ "Explainer: What is retired out, why did R Ashwin depart in this manner and other similar incidents". Firstpost. 11 April 2022. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  10. ^ "Retired out: Ashwin, RR think out of the box". The Indian Express. 11 April 2022. Retrieved 11 April 2022.
  11. ^ "R Ashwin becomes first batter to be tactically retired out in the IPL". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  12. ^ "Birmingham seal rain-affected last-ball thriller by one run". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 5 June 2022.
  13. ^ Sportstar, Team (15 June 2024). "ENG vs NAM: Namibia's Nikolaas Davin becomes first batter to retire out in T20 World Cup history". Sportstar. Retrieved 16 June 2024.