Retirements of 2020: From Dhoni, Raina, Pathan to Khabib, Casillas and Sharapova

Year in Review: Sportstar takes a look at sportspersons who retired in 2020.

MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan

MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on November 22, 2005.   -  Getty Images

From cricketing superstars Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan to badminton ace Lin Dan and MMA’s undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, Sportstar takes a look at the sportspersons who retired in 2020.

- Indian cricket’s inimitable match-winner surprised everyone when he announced his retirement on August 15. One of the best finishers of the game, Dhoni hung up his boots as the only captain to have won all three ICC trophies and the Test mace while also amassing 17,266 runs and 829 dismissals behind the stumps.

- India’s premier limited-overs batsman Raina followed his India and Chennai Super Kings teammate, Dhoni, as the duo announced their international retirements on the same day. The southpaw has scored 7,988 runs in his international career and was the first Indian batsman to score a hundred in all formats of the game.

- Left-arm all-rounder Pathan made heads turn upon his arrival at the international stage. Pathan’s highs include a first-over hat-trick in the Karachi Test of 2006 and the 2007 T20 World Cup final where he was the Man of the Match. The southpaw announced his retirement in January with international numbers comprising 2,821 runs and 301 wickets.

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- Parthiv Patel entered record books on his Test debut by becoming the youngest wicketkeeper-batsman to play in the longer format. Despite a below-par international career, the domestic veteran led Gujarat to finals of three domestic events - the first Indian to do so. Parthiv announced his retirement on December 9.

- The man for all seasons Shane Watson announced his retirement from professional cricket after CSK’s unsuccessful IPL 2020 campaign on November 2. Watson, who played his final game for Australia in 2016, remained a key part of the resurging Chennai franchise in 2018 and is regarded among the most successful all-rounders to feature in the tournament over the years.

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Chennai Super Kings' Shane Watson bats during the Indian Premier League final against Mumbai Indians at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Hyderabad.   -  Getty Images

- Ian Bell left professional cricket after his final first-class appearance in September. With over 12,000 international and 20,000 first-class runs, Bell is regarded as one of England's finest batsmen of the 21st century.

- India’s domestic legend Wasim Jaffer announced his retirement in March. Despite a brief international career, Jaffer’s status as a prolific run-scorer remained intact at the first-class level. He is the most successful batsman in Ranji Trophy with 12,035 runs and 40 hundreds. Jaffer is currently the batting coach of Kings XI Punjab.

- Pakistan pacer Mohammed Amir announced his international retirement on December 17 at the age of 28. Amir was just as lethal as his teenage self on return from a five-year spot-fixing ban. The left-armer was India’s tormentor in the Champions Trophy final and finished his career with 259 international wickets.

- The first and only Danish player to win a Grand Slam, Caroline Wozniacki announced her retirement ahead of the 2020 Australian Open. The former World No.1 bid farewell after a third-round loss to Ons Jabeur.

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- Former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova announced her retirement in February after a first-round exit at the Australian Open. The five-time Grand Slam champion drew curtains on a 19-year-long career after being troubled by persistent shoulder injuries.

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Maria Sharapova at the 'Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit 2018' at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on October 2 in California.   -  Getty Images

 

- Argentina’s most capped player Javier Mascherano announced his retirement in November after an illustrious 17-year career. A club legend at Barcelona, ‘El Jefecito’ won 19 titles at the Spanish club with his final stint coming back home at Estudiantes.

- One of Pakistan’s prolific limited-overs bowlers, Umar Gul announced his retirement in October 2020. Gul was the leading wicket-taker of the 2007 T20 World Cup where Pakistan finished runner-up. He led the attack again when his side won the title two years later. The paceman finished his career with 427 wickets across formats.

- Hero of two famous nights in West Indian cricket in the last decade, Marlon Samuels announced his retirement in November. Samuels starred for the Windies in the 2012 and 2016 T20 World Cup finals, finishing as the top-scorer on both occasions and became the first man to do so. The Jamaican finished his career with 11,134 international runs.

- Dubbed as one of the greatest goalkeepers ever to play the game, Iker Casillas announced his retirement in August, a year after his final appearance at Porto. Casillas led Spain to a Euro double in 2008 and 2012 while also lifting the World Cup in 2010. A Real Madrid legend, Casillas returned to the Los Blancos in December as a deputy to the Real Madrid Foundation CEO.

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Iker Casillas attends 'Colgar Las Alas' photocall at Movistar Studios on November 18 in Madrid.   -  Getty Images

 

- Badminton’s all-time superstar Dan announced his retirement from the sport on July 4. An icon of Chinese badminton, Dan ended his career as one of the most prolific players of all time - with 66 titles and 666 wins. ‘Super Dan’ completed a rare Super Grand Slam having won successive Olympic Golds, five World Championships, and six All England titles in a span of 20 years.

- A stalwart of women’s cricket, Sana Mir announced her retirement in April. Mir led Pakistan in 137 out of her 226 international appearances while also picking 240 wickets.

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- India left-arm spin bowler Pragyan Ojha announced his retirement in February. Ojha played a key role when India lifted the Test mace in 2010. He finished his international career with 144 wickets across formats.

- Ranked by the NBA as one of the greatest dunkers in history, Vince Carter quit the arena in June, having spent his final stint at Atlanta Hawks. He is the only player to feature in 22 NBA seasons across four decades. An eight-time All-Star, Carter is best remembered for his stint at the Toronto Raptors.

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- After an undisputed reign in his Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) career, Khabib left the octagon in October. The first Russian UFC lightweight champion, ‘the Eagle’ held on to the title for a record 931 days. Khabib, who lost his father and coach to COVID-19, decided to quit after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254’s main event where he raised his unbeaten streak to 29-0 in the UFC.

- The cornerstone of the Belgian and Manchester City defence, Vincent Kompany bowed out from the field after a short stint back at his boyhood club Anderlecht in August. A Premier League legend, Kompany won four Premier League titles with City. He moved to the managerial side of the game as he took charge of Anderlecht soon after retirement.

- Former Argentina and Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta announced his retirement in October. Zabaleta was a part of City’s core defence, which won two Premier Leagues, two League Cups and the FA Cup.

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Pablo Zabaleta during an FA Cup match at The London Stadium on January 25.   -  Getty Images

 

- Wrestler-turned MMA champion Daniel Cormier called it quits at 41 in August in a loss to Stipe Miocic at UFC 252. With a 22-2 win-loss record, Cormier’s successful stint in the UFC also saw him being the second fighter to hold a title in two different divisions.

- England and Everton left-back Leighton Baines announced his retirement on August 15. Baines, who started at Wigan, established his name at Everton. He appeared for the Toffees in 348 matches and made a brief national career between 2010 and 2015.

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- Forward Andre Schurrle was at the heart of Germany’s 2014 World Cup final triumph, having made the winning pass to Mario Gotze. With brief stints at Bayer Leverkusen, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund, Schurrle eventually hung up his boots at the age of 29 in July.

- Having announced that the 2019/20 final would be his last, Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro played his final match on June 27. Pizarro was at his best during his time at Bayern Munich. Upon retirement, Pizarro remains the oldest scorer in the Bundesliga while also being the second-most successful foreign player in the league.

- German striker Mario Gomez left the arena on a positive note after scoring a goal to secure his boyhood club Stuttgart a promotion back to the Bundesliga. Gomez was at his best at Bayern Munich where he won the treble in 2012-13. The 35-year-old scored 231 goals from 456 appearances.

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